Thursday, March 18, 2010


I had a friend who worked in "corporate espionage."  I'm not sure he called it that, but I remember him talking about sitting outside a competitor's facility counting cars to get a gauge on their activities.  He also talked about obtaining public records like shipping manifests to get an idea of their imports and exports.  I never pictured the kind of intense espionage and counter-espionage portrayed in Duplicity

I am a fan of competition.  Competition makes us better.  There can only be one runner of a race; all the competitors strive to run their best race in hopes of winning.  By the same token, there can only be one creator of the first definitive cure for baldness.  There may be scores of companies or researchers trying to find it, but there can only be one across that finish line first. Duplicity is the story of the cutthroat competition to be the first.  Two companies, whose CEOs hate each other, spy and counter-spy on each other, trying to be the first.  Each company has an eleborate, secretive, high-tech surveillance and investigative arm.
Can you tell these CEOs hate each other??

Clive Owen and Julie Roberts work for the respective companies, but Roberts is a double agent.  The product itself is not the main focus of Duplicity, it's Owen and Roberts' relationship--they met when he was with MI-6 and she was with the CIA--and their attempt to pull a con on their employers.  There are plenty of twists and turns, and it does get a bit confusing, but this is a very entertaining, engaging movie.  If you figure out what's going on before the end, you are smarter than I am.

Bottom line, 3 stars.

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