25 May 2011

Dual 2008 - REVIEW

Ask yourself this... what makes a film good? Is it the story? The characters? The actors? The director's attention to detail? All of the above? Can a film be successful with a great cast and a so so story, or vice versa? What is it that really sets one film apart from another? I'm a firm believer that good direction and a great cast can carry a "meh" storyline pretty well. But, such is not the case here... I'll elaborate a little further in a bit.

DUAL follows drifter Luke Twain (Michael Worth) in the late 1800's when he discovers a town where all the inhabitants have been brutally murdered. Making a choice to remain and uncover what took place there, he finds himself in a strange game of cat and mouse with a mysterious man that still has one final mission.

After seeing Worth in several different roles, I can honestly say that he breathes a life into each character that is rarely seen on the indie film circuit. Whether he's playing a bank robber, a werewolf, an autistic boxer (my favorite) or a "here I come to save the day" cowboy, you can bet he's gonna bring his A game. I can't quite put my finger on it but there's something about him. Maybe it's a naivety... or maybe it's honesty... or maybe it's just damn good acting. I don't know but I like it. Karen Kim costars as Ember, a prostitute smitten with Twain. I haven't seen all of Kim's work but I do know that 90% of the time, she's kicking someones ass so it was hard for me to imagine her the way her character was described. It was pleasantly surprising to see a much softer, more endearing character. The two of them played well off each other. And what would a western be without a mysterious stranger? I'll answer that... Nothing. That's where the magnificent Tim Thomerson comes into play. You won't see much of him until the last hour or so of the film but as usual, when he's on, he's on.

Steven R. Monroe steps into the director's chair and cranks out another visually stunning showpiece. Even after seeing several of his films, his camera work still amazes me. He's got an eye for detail and a passion for film making that is evident throughout his resume. Just watch one and you'll see what I mean. Corey A. Jackson contributes quite the haunting score that helps build a lot of tension throughout the film. I remember Corey saying to me "As a composer I don't want the music getting in the way of the story. Then I haven't done my job. I'm supposed to support it or kind of give it an emotion." Can I just say... NAILED IT!

Now, back to my earlier statement. Not quite a horror but definitely a thriller, Dual has A LOT of major components to it. Miss a couple of minutes and it's likely that you'll have a hard time figuring out what's happening. I'm not going to go into great detail here because I don't want to ruin it for viewers the way someone ruined it for me (asshat!). Worth has weaved quite a puzzling tale with this one. Just when you think you've figured it out, something happens to throw you off. The story alone, gets the job done. The direction and the actors are just the icing on the cake. I found Dual very intriguing and was pulled in the second Luke Twain made his grizzly discovery. I'm sure there will be those that dislike it (the asshat). It does take a while for the action to get going but in my opinion the end result is worth the wait.

Be sure and check out the trailer here!

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