Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (100)
| Top Critics (30)
| Fresh (55)
| Rotten (45)
| DVD (2)
Despite numerous pluses - Lee Tamahori's vigorous direction, handsome cinematography, outstanding production design, an impressive dual performance by Dominic Cooper as Uday and Latif - the film is more wearying than entertaining.
I'm not sure what it all adds up to, but The Devil's Double puts its hooks in you and keeps them there.
Equally as offensive as the movie's smorgasbord of smut and violence is the lingering whiff of colonial-era orientalism, a Western predilection for regarding Eastern cultures as innately idle, lascivious, irrational, and thus ripe for intervention.
The hero of "The Devil's Double" may get upstaged by the villain, but that's not exactly bad news for star Dominic Cooper, since he plays both parts.
Even more tasteless than its main character's gold 'n' marble palace.
The elements of tyranny, treachery and temptation are all there in one true-life package, but in the hands of director Lee Tamahori, The Devil's Double plays more like a melodrama than a docudrama.
A truly satisfying resolution is slightly out of reach when there's less room to play fast and loose with accuracy, yet there's no denying that this was one historical footnote well worth exploiting.
A brave experiment that unfortunately fails within the first few minutes due to a combination of miscasting and all out crassness.
This rambunctious romp is not for the faint-hearted but it is packed with over-the-top lines to quote for weeks after.
This is an over-the-top gangster flick that starts with the volume turned up to 11 and stays that way. It's never boring, but revels in the bad behaviour it pretends to condemn, and is too much on one note to be much good.
Cooper is great, in a great part. But for an actor, not for his audience.
The Devil's Double is a fantastic film that features a central performance so compelling, you'd be foolish to look away even for a second.
A lazy and terribly-directed movie that depicts Uday Hussein as a ridiculous caricature in what is a redundant story devoid of any subtlety. Besides, Dominic Cooper is such a mediocre actor, unable to lend any sort of complexity to the two identical main characters.
Although a glimpse into the decadence of the Hussein regime this bears the serious flaw of being one note. And yes, that note is loud.
An Iraqi army conscript is forced to become the body double of Saddam Hussein's psychotic son and finds himself losing his identity as he drowns in a sea of depravity and murder. There have already been a slew of projects based on the Iraq war and The Devil's Double is an interesting film in that it shows the other side of the conflict, to some extent at least. Dominic Cooper makes a decent fist of playing both the pampered, debauched and sadistic member of the Iraqi elite and his moral, working class impersonator who is appalled by the behaviour of those who rule. Sort of a bizarre cross between such diverse stories as The Prisoner Of Zenda, The Last King Of Scotland and Scarface, the excesses and violence of The Devil's Double are counterpointed by the even more bizarre fact that it is actually a true story. I think it would have been better for the greater context of the life of ordinary Iraqis of the time but it still makes for a shocking and brutal journey through the looking glass into Saddam's world.
This film confers on the supposedly true story of Iraqi soldier Latif Yahia (Cooper), who was taken from the front lines in 1987 to be the body double of Saddam Hussein's son Uday Hussein. Though this story cannot be confirmed because body doubles are confidential and reputed by the Iraqi government, it does have all the makings of being true, what with the ill will that Hussein's subjects had towards him. The film really revolves around the disgusting actions of Uday Hussein, which have been documented, including his abduction and rape of young girls, his berserk murders of government officials, and his eventual assassination attempt. From Latif's perspective he is encased in the bureaucracy of the country, and has to do the bidding of the contemptuous heir to save his family from direct violence. Based on Uday's evil tirades against his own people and his brutish behavior as observed from countless witnesses, the events depicted did not affect me negatively, and didn't seem over the top or senseless. What bothers you as the viewer is the personality that Dominic Cooper dons in order to portray Uday Hussein. Hussein is definitely shown as being oafish with aplomb, which is again fine, but there's also this stupidity and frat boy edge to the role which makes it cartoonish at many times. This may be because of the opulence of his lifestyle, but most of the time it comes from his doddering appearance, which makes him seem mentally challenged more than malevolent. As Latif, Cooper does an outstanding job of playing the dispassionate stooge to Uday's war hungry son. The world of Iraq during the Gulf War is easily crafted, and the majesty of Hussein's world is well represented, but it simply reads as a smoke screen to the violence going on onscreen. There are some questionable performances, but at least it was intriguing to see into that world.
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