The Devil's Double

"Excellent"

The Devil's Double Review


Anchored by a fierce double performance from Dominic Cooper, this true story is so intensely violent that it's not easy to watch. But it's an extremely well-made film, and the tight point of view makes it both riveting and urgent.

In 1990 Iraq, Saddam Hussein's son Uday (Cooper) is on a rampage of rape, torture and murder when he grabs his old school friend Latif Yahia (Cooper again) and forces him to become his stand-in. Latif isn't allowed to say no and, after extensive training and plastic surgery, plus the approval of Saddam (Quast), he becomes Uday's doppelganger. But he never hides his belief that Uday is a psychopath, even to his mentor Munem (Rawl). And he takes an even bigger risk when he falls for one of Uday's girls, Sarrab (Sagnier).

Tamahori directs the film with an intense sense of energy that never lets up.

We are thrown right into this nightmare alongside Latif, and the film focuses tightly on his first-hand reports of life in a horrific situation. At times, Tamahori seems to cross the line to convey Uday's well-documented sadism, and the more extreme scenes are overwhelmingly gruesome. But by anchoring the story in Latif's viewpoint, we have something to keep us engaged. And to maintain a sense of perspective.

Cooper's two performances are simply jaw-dropping, adding texture to both roles that continually takes us aback. With the exception of a few deliberate moments, it's always clear which character is which, thanks to Uday's whiny voice and whirling physicality and Latif's more thoughtful, dubious eyes.

Cooper is simply electric on screen, especially when these complex men are engaged with each other. By contrast, Sagnier seems like a cipher, a woman we can't really trust because we never quite see her.

And while it's clear what the script is trying to say, Cooper and Tamahori continually throw in wrinkles that undermine the more obvious dialog and plotting. As a result, it's more like Scarface than Green Zone. And continual referencing to real events keeps it grounded, even with the excessive mayhem and shocking grisliness. In the end it's the bravery of both Cooper and the real Latif that lingers in our minds.



The Devil's Double

Facts and Figures

Genre: Thriller

Run time: 109 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 8th September 2011

Box Office USA: $1.4M

Box Office Worldwide: $1.3M

Budget: $21.1M

Distributed by: Lionsgate

Production compaines: Corsan, Staccato Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 52%
Fresh: 53 Rotten: 49

IMDB: 7.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Paul Breuls, Michael John Fedun, , Catherine Vandeleene

Starring: as Latif Yahia / Uday Hussein, as Sarrab, as Munem, Mehmet Ferda as Kamel Hannah, Philip Quast as Saddam Hussein / Faoaz, Mimoun Oaïssa as Ali, Khalid Laith as Yassem Al-Helou, as Latif's Father, Dar Salim as Azzam

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.