Unless you’re a big Richard Gere fan, you won’t be seeing “The Double” more than once.

Richard Gere plays an ex-CIA agent who is called back into active duty because a Russian spy/assassin — code name Cassius — is believed to have come out of hiding and is being blamed for the killing of a prominent politician.  Gere doesn’t believe it, but his ex-boss coerces him to join a young, FBI agent (played by Topher Grace) to seek out the truth and apprehend Cassius if Cassius is really alive.

Stereotypical of this type of movie, the partnership between Gere and Grace — sounds like the title of a sit-com — is uneasy, but as the movie goes on they develop a friendship and respect for each other.  Gasp!  I didn’t see that one coming.   So, as the two men look for clues as to where Cassius is and if Cassius is alive, Gere becomes more reluctant to open up this can of worms.  What could he be hiding?  Perhaps a better draft of this script.

My most memorable, movie moment of “The Double” is the scene when Gere is having a chat with his ex-boss while they are getting coffee from one of those food trucks parked on a sidewalk.   Gere makes a comment about how spooks shouldn’t follow the same routines, referring to his ex-boss getting coffee from the same place.  And then we see that the person who serving Gere and his ex-boss is a black dude!  Yes, Gere was referring to spies when he uses the term spooks.  Still, I don’t think it’s wise to say the word spook when a black person is present.

It also wasn’t wise to pair Gere with Grace.  The two had no chemistry together.  Adding to the blandness of many of the scenes is Gere looking tired and uninterested, like he had something better to do than be in this movie.  Yes, he plays a character who is retired and old and has no interest in looking for Cassius; but damn, he was just boring.

“The Double” is a competent spy flick, not much more.  If this movie was a food, I would say it was a low sodium, low fat soup.  Filling, but not satisfying.

M

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