Daily News header

Duplicity Movie Review: Julia Roberts In 'Undercovers' Spy Sex Romp

By     get stories by email

A slick combo romantic comedy/espionage noir in which the audience may - or may not - be as duped as the characters, Duplicity takes distrust as a vocation to a high art. There's also lots of surveillance on hand, as to how literally undercover spy sex possibly plays out problematically behind closed bedroom doors.

Written and directed by Tony Gilroy (The Bourne Trilogy, Michael Clayton), Duplicity stars Julia Roberts as CIA operative Claire Stenwick and Clive Owen as MI6 agent Ray Koval. After the two globe trotting masters of mutual deceit have a sexual encounter in Dubai, during which Claire drugs Ray into submission because she really needs to swipe those Egyptian military codes from him, they meet again a few years later somewhere else on the planet. And on far from friendly terms, when they find themselves working for the same company.

Duplicity Movie

It seems that both have coincidentally quit government positions, for more lucrative gigs in private sector industrial espionage. And in a rare high point of this low intensity intimate relationship in progress, Roberts does a fruitless damage control vampy seductress showstopper, as she attempts to squirms her way through one night stand pretend amnesia. But too late, her male prey never forgot her toe rings.

Subsequently dividing their time between hot dates and ruthless yet strangely comical confrontations between two multinationals run by scary CEO rivals Howard Tully (Tom Wilkinson) and Richard Garsik (Paul Giamatti), Claire and Ray come up with a scheme for a different kind of screwing. That is, screwing the competing cutthroat companies and dividing the profits.

The problem here is not with the many hidden agendas but with the movie, in that there's a whole lot more sizzling negative chemistry between Giamatti and Wilkinson, than any of the positive kind between those two designated libidinous lovebirds. Even when engaged in espionage style makeup sex or repetitive, smartly stylized premeditated dumping scenarios between lovers. It's as if Clive has emotionally crumbled in the face of Julia's star power, and she's just decided to play her celeb self for the duration.

In effect, both are virtually upstaged by the nonstop, dizzying mix 'n match time travel entertaining intrigue, of which there's plenty, and the corporate thuggery that plays out like mercantile armies deployed and on the offensive to protect their respective fiefdoms, as flabby assassins in suits go at it like the Keystone Cops. Though the clownish antics may seem too benign for some, when assessing the current suspect real life rap sheets of multinationals on display.

Universal Pictures
Rated PG-13
3 stars

Prairie Miller is a multimedia journalist online, in print and on radio. Contact her through NewsBlaze.

  Please click this get stories by email button to be notified about future stories, and please leave a comment below.

  Please leave a comment here     If it does not display within 10 seconds, please refresh the page

Related Movie Reviews News

Directed by Pat O'Connor (Sweet November), the screen version is an intriguing romance drama which takes a sharp turn about midway through when Tommo and Charlie enlist in the army and ship off to serve their country in Flanders' fields.
Before the month of October ends, here are the must-see movies to give viewers thrills and chills on the Halloween weekends.
Kam Williams interviews Haley Joel Osment, who played Cole, in The Sixth Sense, as the boy with the iconic line, I see dead people. Now in Sex Ed.
Seemingly a satire in some ways, of Keaton's ambivalent transformation into Tim Burton's Batman a quarter of a century ago, Birdman appears to be Keaton's venture into unprecedented extreme acting.
For movie fanatics and couch potatoes, are you ready to relax and indulge in a stress-free weekend? Well, here are top 10 DVD releases for the week!
It's a movie marathon, and here are some must-see movies to shoo away the boredom and be on trend on what's new and hot flicks for this month!

 

NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month



Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

NewsBlaze
Copyright © 2004-2014 NewsBlaze Pty. Ltd.
Use of this website is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy  | DMCA Notice               Press Room   |    Visit NewsBlaze Mobile Site