Newest Reviews
Lu Over the Wall
She's Funny That Way
Vox Lux
Aftermath, The
Five Fingers for Marseilles
Jupiter's Moon
Favourite, The
Mysteries of the Gods
Coming Home
De Sade
Patti Cake$
Final Destination 2
Bros: After the Screaming Stops
Cockleshell Heroes, The
Mule, The
Sunday in the Country
Nutcracker Fantasy
Executive Action
Captain Marvel
Zombie Girl
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Monkey King 3, The
Adventurers, The
Stripped to Kill
Daughter of Dr. Jekyll
Aladdin's Magic Lamp
Christopher Robin
Hole in the Ground, The
Blue Christmas
Death Trip
She's Missing
Return of the Soldier
Summer Lovers
Newest Articles
The Hole in the Ground: Director Lee Cronin Interview
She's Missing: Director Alexandra McGuinness Interview
Woo's the Boss: Last Hurrah for Chivalry & Hand of Death on Blu-ray
Get Ahead in Showbiz: Expresso Bongo and It's All Happening
Outer Space and Outta Sight: Gonks Go Beat on Blu-ray
Tucked: The Derren Nesbitt Interview
Locomotion Pictures: The Best of British Transport Films on Blu-ray
Roman Scandals: Extreme Visions from Ancient Rome
Spider-Wrong and Spider-Right: The Dragon's Challenge and Into the Spider-Verse
Monster Dog: Cujo on Blu-ray
For Christ's Sake: Jesus Christ Superstar and The Last Temptation of Christ
Not In Front of the Children: Inappropriate Kids Movies
Deeper into Ozploitation: Next of Kin and Fair Game
Between the Wars: Babylon Berlin Series 1&2 on DVD
Hard Luck Story: Detour on Blu-ray
  Devil's Double, The Luckless LookalikeBuy this film here.
Year: 2011
Director: Lee Tamahori
Stars: Dominic Cooper, Ludivine Sagnier, Raad Rawi, Philip Quast, Mimoun Oaïssa, Khalid Laith, Dar Salim, Nasser Memarzia, Mem Ferda, Pano Masti, Akin Gazi, Stewart Scudamore, Amrita Acharia, Elektra Anastasi, Amber Rose Revah, Selva Rasalingam
Genre: Thriller, Biopic
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Iraqi army lieutenant Latif Lahia (Dominic Cooper) had a stroke of bad luck which he could do nothing about: he happened to closely resemble the son of the leader of the country. This meant, as he had attended school with the man, he was summoned to the palace one day and told to wait in an office. He was waiting for Uday Hussein (Cooper again), son of Saddam Hussein (Philip Quast), and when he showed up he had some news for Latif, which was he was to be his new brother. What this amounted to was the soldier was now entrusted to be Uday's double...

Such a position was deemed necessary since so many people wanted the ruling family dead, so Saddam had one and his son decided he needed one as well, picking Latif since he was the one who sprang to mind from their schooldays. As you can surmise from the title, Uday was not the sanest of men, as nobody had the guts to say no to him apart from his father, so basically he got away with all sorts of disgusting behaviour when standing up to him would mean certain death, or at least torture, for whoever plucked up the courage to do so. This put Latif in a very difficult position, as the lives of his family were placed in danger.

Did I mention this was a true story? The real life Latif was very pleased with this version of his time in Iraq, probably because not only did it portray him as the noble, handsome hero, but he also got to exact revenge on the man who caused him so much grief down the years. How accurate this was turned out to be more questionable, with director Lee Tamahori claiming he was filming this as a gangster movie, and it was evident the temptation to go over the top was never far away. To be fair, Uday was an outrageous character, raping his way through any unwilling females, and according to this occasional males too, who came his way, then topping that off with violent power games.

All of this rested on the performances of Cooper, and it was to his credit that you were always sure of who you were watching thanks to his acting being so assured for each persona. Stoic Latif was straight ahead, decent and forced into a corner by circumstances beyond his control, whereas with Uday the star let his hair down and played him as a goofy but deadly maniac, not quite chewing the scenery but a little too close to pantomime. Again, the actual person was certifiably crazy, so Cooper had the weight of history behind him as Uday became so enamoured of having a lookalike to push around that he turns obsessive, ordering every aspect of his life and knowing there's nothing he can do about it.

For the female lead, Ludivine Sagnier took the role of Sarrab, the sexual partner of Uday who prefers his double and places them both in peril when she does something about it. Alas, this was a cardboard role, not much different from the typical sheik-styled dramas of yesteryear which always seemed to feature one woman in the harem who would turn against her boss and team up with the hero, though there was a late on twist which attempted to offer her more depth, a case of too little too late. Elsewhere as Uday's excesses grow ever more lurid, it looked as if all concerned would have been happier making some kind of Middle Eastern horror movie, as the exploitative nature of what we saw teetered on the edge of rendering the misdeeds a matter of titillation for the thrillseekers in the audience. So, as history it was tracing a fine line between telling it as it was and dubious overkill, leaving Cooper as the main reason to watch thanks to his performances and some clever camera trickery. Music by Christian Henson.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 1510 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Darren Jones


Last Updated: