Double Identity (UK - DVD R2)
Marcus always thought Val Kilmer movies were okay... until now that is.
Dr. Nicholas Pinter (Val Kilmer), working in Chechnya for Doctors Beyond Borders (get used to that description—Val says it about twelve times in the first fifteen minutes) is mistaken for a secret agent by the Russian mob. Unable to get out of the country, Pinter falls in with all of the players involved with the crime syndicate as well as their enemies and even gets involved with the 'playing both sides' mysterious woman, Katrine (Izabella Miko). Pinter struggles to save his and Katrine’s life and now everyone seems to be after the doctor.
Watching Val Kilmer’s performance in Double Identity made his performance in The Doors, which I reviewed a few weeks back, feel like he should have won an Oscar, a noble peace price and given a small country in comparison. I wouldn’t say I’d ever rated Val as an actor (though he is great in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) but if there was ever a movie to highlight just how wooden and awkward he is to watch it’s Double Identity.
To be fair to Madmartigan, the movie is nowhere near strong enough to make anyone look all that good. The first fifteen minutes or so throws loads of short scenes at us with minimal dialogue and I was waiting for a reveal of some sort or a hook to reel me in but it just never came. In fact I’m still not one hundred per cent sure what this movie was trying to achieve. It felt like one of those spoof spy movies with a bunch of cliché jewel thief criminals doing cliché bad guy stuff while the comedian at the centre bumbles around, haphazardly preventing the crime and saving the day. Except Val’s Dr Nicholas Pinter working in Chechnya for Doctors Beyond Borders is played totally straight and almost oblivious to any danger that confronts him.
Double Identity was just plain odd. Whether it was Val’s happy go lucky attitude, the awkwardness of his action sequences (honestly the combo of him looking and feeling too heavy for exercise mixed with the bad editing made for some pretty embarrassing stuff) or some really strange European/American accents from Coyote Ugly’s Izabella Miko, or even the over-Englishness of the English group involved in this bad caper, nothing about it felt right. It felt like a movie the eighties forgot to put out or a comedy that forgot to be funny, or even a thriller that forgot to be thrilling. Whatever the problems were, it's sad to think the actor who has portrayed Batman, Jim Morrison, Elvis, Doc Holliday, Moses and God (though admittedly how good he was at some of them is up for speculation) is in something this ropey and this straight-to-DVD.
What a bland looking film Double Identity is. Lighting is not all that inspiring and generally the entire movie doesn’t stray from looking like a low budget affair. Because of all that nothing really jumps out as impressive. Colours are relatively muted, though skin tones appear natural. Detail levels are okay, with some deep black shadows in the darker scenes but then the darker scenes are full of grain and can look a little murky, especially the scenes in the woods which have moments of looking awful. Speaking of awful, there are a handful of shots in the daytime external scenes where there’s an odd green tint to the image—Val’s blonde hair ends up looking like a bad dye job after a trip to a swimming pool from time to time and it was quite odd.
The majority of the Dolby Digital 5.1 track has the dialogue outclassing the barely noticeable score, this is sometimes due to some god awful additional voice recording which sticks out like a sore thumb (and in one instance doesn’t even sound like Val Kilmer’s voice) however as the pace picks up the score plays more of a part, even if it sounds like a third rate spy thriller spoof. The music fills the rear speakers and adds quite a bit of weight to the track towards the end of the movie and while it’s nothing to get excited about it lifted the basic track from time to time.
There are no extras on this one outside of trailers for Blitz, Blood Out (with the killer combo of Val Kilmer, Luke Goss and 50 Cent) and Trust.
Double Identity is such a mess and I’m pretty sure I watched most of it trying to work what the hell was going on—like there was a massive twist coming up that would make all this make sense or something. There wasn’t. Double Identity is just a half assed movie with Val Kilmer going through the motions like never before.
The disc isn’t all that great in either the audio or visual departments and they are no features, so really the super low price point is probably its best feature and even that’s pushing it.
Review by Marcus Doidge
Suitable only for persons of 12 years and over
Release Date: 16th May 2011
Disc Type: Single side, dual layer
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 English
Subtitles: English HoH
Easter Egg: No
Director: Dennis Dimster-Denk
Cast: Val Kilmer, Izabella Miko
Genre: Action, Crime and Thriller
Length: 89 minutes
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