Review: Dual (2022 Sundance Film Festival)

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Title: Dual
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Riley Stearns
Starring: Karen Gillan, Aaron Paul, Beulah Koale
Runtime: 1 hr 35 mins

What It Is: Sarah (Gillan) is definitely sick. She begins vomiting up blood uncontrollably. When she visits her doctor the doctor makes her aware that she does not have very long to live. That this rare, unknown illness will eventually kill her. So that her husband will not miss her she seeks out a company that can make a double of her. When circumstances change and Sarah will instead live and be totally fine there’s a small matter of an entire person that looks like her possessing the life she once had.

What We Think: Listen. I like Riley Stearns…make no mistake. I did not care for this film. Its premise, though unique, is rather muddled by a script that too often deviates from its purpose. Karen Gillan gives a very nuanced performance between her two versions of Sarah. Likewise, Paul is very entertaining as her odd fight instructor. In reality, the odd nature of the storytelling and script are what bog this down. Seeming to almost want to be too much smarter than you or I. Where Stearns previous film had the luxury of being his debut to masks the shortcomings it is this film, his sophomore effort that isn’t quite afforded this luxury.

Our Grade: C-, A film that’s sure to find its audience with genre festival-goers. This is the type of film that is hard to love as its script is so functionary. One thing that is certain is that it is sure to divide critics and very much beloved by those who fall into loving this sort of thing. For me, it’s lacking in too many story elements and stumbles over its feet more often than not. I mean…check it out if the film seems interesting to you.

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