Duplicity is not unlike many espionage movies before it. Elements from Mission Impossible and Mr. and Mrs. Smith weave themselves into the plot of the film and the planning process by the characters in the movie rivals Ocean’s Eleven and it’s similarly named successors.
Julia Roberts adds a slick, sneaky and sexy feel to the story alongside stunning co-star Clive Owen, playing a pair of spies plotting to take down their respective companies.
Despite an awkward opening scene, the movie starts rather quickly and wastes little time giving no more background to the characters than what we would absolutely need for the story.
Duplicity’s strengths lie in its thrilling moments. When plans are set into motion, it is easy to get emotionally involved in the outcome of the covert operation. The ending to the movie is superb, shocking and surprising to movie-goers.
The film keeps viewers on their toes, wondering where things are going to go next, following every emotional rise and fall and guessing the outcome of the worst (and best) situations in which the characters find themselves.
Duplicity is not going to have the same kind of ostentatious entertainment as a movie like Transformers or Pirates of the Caribbean, but delivers its value in the intellectual play between both of the main characters, Ray and Claire.
The movie goes back and forth in time too much, causing problems in the continuity of the film. Information is not provided about what is going on until the actions are set into motion, which breaks the momentum and becomes problematic.
An attention span is required to enjoy the movie to its fullest. There are so many details involved that viewers have to remain on their toes to catch each little facet of the plot. Duplicity is hard to follow, but if you can keep up, the reward at the end of the movie is worth it.
The Bottom Line
The Bells gives Duplicity a three out of five bell rating because of Julia Roberts’ impressive return, an interesting heist story and some great chemistry between both of the leads.
The film makes use of great cinematography and mixes the use of older-style editing with great camera work to pull off a visual treat. The twists in the plot keep the audience guessing at each turn and pulls everyone’s emotions into the final steps of the heist.
Although not distinctive in its ideas, Duplicity does a lot of things right and pulls it all together into a pleasant, but forgettable performance.