Universal Home Video
Cast: Julia Roberts, Clive Owen, Paul Giamatti, Tom Wilkinson
Extras: Commentary Track, BD Live
"Duplicity" is one of those films that kind of flew under my radar. I saw the trailers for the theatrical release, never paid much attention to them and then completely forgot about the film. Until Universal Home Entertainment sent over the Blu-Ray version, that is. Since I've always been a sucker for good capers, I decided to give the disc a spin.
When large corporations compete with each other, it can easily turn into an all-out war. Such is the case in this movie and the two corporations in question even staff their very own corporate espionage departments for the sole purpose to get ahead of the other. It is the perfect playground for former CIA agent Claire (Julia Roberts) and former MI6-man Ray (Clive Owen). After they fell in love with each other on the job, they decided the private sector would be much more lucrative, allowing them to actually get in on the action and strike it rich in a single big swoop. The problem is, they don't really trust each other – comes with the job unfortunately, and while they work out a cunning plan to extract $40 million from the feud of the above-mentioned corporations, it appears their egos and neuroses keep getting in the way every step of the way.
"Duplicity" is a delicious spy caper that has been put together wonderfully by writer/director Tony Gilroy. A seasoned thriller writer, Gilroy knows exactly how to leverage each moment and create a plot that is filled with new twists around every corner. Nothing and no one is what they seem, making the entire movie a captivating guessing game for the viewer. Gilroy employs a cool visual style also that reminded me of Steven Soderbergh at times, while also keeping the narrative on edge throughout. After "Michael Clayton," "Duplicity" is Gilroy's second movie as a director, but already one can see the greatness in his work that will hopefully produce many more of these highly entertaining films.
In addition to the solid production, the film also features a great cast. Julia Roberts and Clive Owen work out perfectly in front of the camera, creating an almost tangible sense of lovable mistrust, the way it was often depicted in classic caper movies of the 50s and 60s. In addition, featuring Paul Giamatti and Tom Wilkinson as the opposing corporate CEOs, the film is simply bathed in paranoia, but with a very wicked and funny sense throughout.
The movie is presented in a pristine 1080p high definition transfer. As this is a brand new film, the picture quality is beyond reproach, without any defects or blemishes. The picture revels in detail and textures and also produces colors that are boldly accentuating the scenes. Whether it's office space interiors or the beautiful Adriatic seaside, you will always be pulled in by the great detail and vividness of this transfer.
A DTS 5.1 HD Master audio track complements the film, ensuring the best possible presentation also. With a wide frequency response and solid bass extension, the track is rich and very spatial, making great use of the surround channels without ever being intrusive. Dialogues are well integrated and never drowned out, making for a balanced audio presentation that is highly enjoyable.
A commentary track featuring writer/director Tony Gilroy and editor/co-producer John Gilroy is also included on the disc. It is a great excursion into the origins and makings of the film showing not only the experience that Gilroy has in creating wicked plots like this one, but also how he deliberately put it all together on film. Sadly however, this track is the only extra found on the release, except for BD Live connectivity which gives you access to online trailers etc.
"Duplicity" is a very cool caper that will keep you guessing all the way to the end – and speaking of end, wait until you see the film's ending. Way to go! With a flawless Blu-Ray version, one can't go wrong, so if you're looking for a very cool and intelligent 2 hour escape, "Duplicity" is a film that should be on your shortlist.