Dir. Riley Stearns
Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield
How would a Wes Anderson sci-fi/horror film look, probably a little like DUAL. It also explains why an Anderson written sci-fi/horror is not a good idea.
In a world where clones can be created to legally continue someone's life after death, a conundrum arises when death is not so imminent and two persons exist. The answer? A duel to the death in front of willing spectators. Somewhere between THE HUNGER GAMES and THE 6TH DAY without the action of either.
On paper, DUAL, with a great cast of Karen Gillan, Aaron Paul and Jessie Eisenberg, should be a captivating and tense thriller that goes beyond simply questions of "what if" that fail to deliver any satisfying revolution. Instead DUAL is a much more subtle indie flick that provides some questionable decisions on performance with an emotionless cast that ponders on how depressing life is no matter how long you live on.
Riley Stearns, who gave us the fantastic cult phenome, FAULTS, seems to grasp an idea in the films deep conversation with the life of clones and choices made without any thought for repercussions however are significantly lost in an unfolding dull drama that takes away the thrills of the fight or the depth of the conversation. Instead allowing the audience to start the conversation. Much like walking in a room full of people and saying "what do you think about this?" then walking out and not sticking around for an answer or providing any further context to the discussion.
The films plot and title aren't even explored in the manner the film teases without a single effort to make fun of the spectator sport with a swift left turn before the films finale kicks in.