THE DEVIL’S DOUBLE
BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
DECEMBER 8, 2011
Within the last few years, I developed an affection for the actress Alice Eve, mainly when “She’s Out Of My League” came out in theaters. In catching up with her filmography, I came across the film “Starter for 10,” a small throw-away British film starring Alice, James McAvoy, and the future Mrs. “The Town” Rebecca Hall. But despite the stellar cast, one actor stuck out brilliantly; Dominic Cooper. “Starter for 10” was nothing short of a disaster, so I moved on.
When the 2009-2010 Oscar season rolled around, I caught “An Education,” and again, in another minor role, this time beside Carey Mulligan and Peter Sarsgaard, Dominic Cooper blew me away. So when Cooper started taking on more significant roles, I took notice. In “Captain America: The First Avenger,” Cooper plays Tony Stark’s father, Cooper’s first big step into the American world of blockbusters. But before taking that step, he starred in a film where he not only played the main character but two main characters.
In “The Devil’s Double,” a story based on the true-to-life person, Uday Hussein, Cooper plays the main character and the man hired to be his double. The trick to this performance is that the two characters are sheer opposites. Hussein is a madman, determined to get anything and everything he wants, whether it be drugs, wars, or sex. His double, Latif Yahia, is introverted and steady-handed, sophisticated and in control, even when it is apparent that he is not. Cooper commands both roles to the point where you question whether he is two different actors.
Aside from Cooper’s performance, the film comes off reasonably original, though at a second glance can be compared to thrillers like “Scarface,” “Swordfish,” and “The Bourne Identity.” However, for Cooper to successfully capture a film like this is a perfect launching point for his career. With an unbearably disturbing story and a rather sturdy set of supporting actors, “The Devil’s Double” is one of the year’s most underrated films.
July 29, 2011
“The Devil’s Double”
by Latif Yahia
(for strong brutal bloody violence and torture, sexual content, graphic nudity, drug use and pervasive language)
Michael John Fedun