Dual (2022)

After the news that she has a rare and terminal health condition, Sarah (Karen Gillan) allows a salesman to talk her into being cloned, to ‘save her love ones from pain’. The clone (also Gillan) will spend Sarah’s last few months with her, learning to duplicate her in every way – or so goes the theory. Instead, the double almost immediately shows different traits and has soon claimed the life as her own, well ahead of time. Even Sarah’s boyfriend and mother prefer the new version, it seems!

So when the news comes through that the diagnosis was either wrong, or there’s been a miraculous remission, Sarah’s instant thought is to have the clone decommissioned – in fact, she’s obliged to, as only dying people can be cloned (or so is stated, against the several scenes of suicide – so yeah, lots of content warnings!). Alas, the law says that any double who is now sufficiently a different person has the right to challenge their removal, instead triggering a literal duel to the death with the original as only one is permitted to continue existing.

The premise sounded intriguing, if convoluted, and the cast includes Karen Gillan, Aaron Paul, playing her death-match trainer, and Theo James – who turns out to barely have a cameo. Hmm. I ended up feeling like I’d totally missed something, some reason for the ‘quirkiness’ of it all that actually just comes across as… bad?

Most of it is in the delivery of all lines, by all characters – so not bad acting, clearly some weird choice of style or something. Robotic and emotionless and often unrealistically full-on, the speech through the whole movie is rather off-putting.

Otherwise, there’s not a great deal going on. Sarah not only has her life ripped away from her, but to add to the insult, she’s expected to pay maintenance to the clone, AND keep up with payments for the process of having it created. Instead of joy at the health news, which to be honest she never wholly seemed to react to – although again, I get a feeling this was a purposeful choice at some directorial level – she hits something of a rock bottom.

So I suppose the movie could be about how you look at your life, and how another version of you might manage it all so differently – or will they? There’s more to be taken from the clone’s reactions, but I won’t give too many spoilers. Mind you, I also don’t really recommend watching the movie, so it would hardly matter!

Overall just weird. And not in a good way. Slow, ponderous even, and with some very odd stylistic decisions, this sort of rumbles on with little in the way of climax. Can I say weird again? In fairness, it was made mid-pandemic, which probably didn’t help, but still, weird.

Dual movie posterReleased: 20th May 2022
Viewed: 27th May 2022
Running time: 94 minutes
Rated: 15

My rating: 4/10

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