Identicals – ★ ½ DVD Review
Identicals: the organization “Brand New-U” identifies networks of Identicals – people who walk like you, talk like you, but are walking through different, better lives – and helps their customers make a life upgrade: eliminating the better-life donor, and relocating their client to that brand new life. Slater (Lachlan Nieboer) seems to have the perfect life, the perfect job and the perfect girlfriend. But when Slater’s girlfriend (Nora-Jane Noone) is abducted by Brand New-U, and a corpse left in her place, he is forced to become an Identical. As he moves through a series of parallel lives, he becomes more and more obsessed with finding his girlfriend, but what he must find in the end is himself…
Wow, what an incredibly slow way to destroy what could have been a great idea! I think they were too interested in finding cool locations (like a double spiral staircase) to shoot in, and filming it all very, very slowly…. This is supposed to be some deep sci-fi love story, but the central relationship (which should be key to everything) is never explored enough or the characters developed enough that I wanted to care about any of them. But if the description on the box is accurate and to be believed, if Slater’s girlfriend (Nadia?) was replaced by a lookalike corpse, wouldn’t it mean that she signed up to have her life upgraded? Actually someone else signed up to “become” Slater’s girlfriend and in the swap out, she’s accidentally killed. So instead of just aborting their mission they kidnap the real girlfriend and relocate her, and then Slater goes to the same company (Brand New U seems to be engaged in highly illegal activities, but ) who relocates him (conveniently close to his girlfriend’s new life) apparently without realizing he was the guy at their last botched replacement? And when he gets to close to his girlfriend they relocate both of them again….and again remarkably close to each other, and they turn Slater into an assassin to do what exactly? Overly confusing, but also entirely un-engaging!
Yes it looked good. Some scenes were visually beautiful, and there at times was a great use of colour, but all of it was just wasted because the director wanted to make it dark and brooding and artsy, by which I mean making the story as boring as possible, but trying to mask that with fancy camera work. The somewhat deliberate slow-pacing doesn’t necessarily help very much either, with some scenes playing out far too long. The premise sounded good, and it could have been an interesting science fiction yarn, but it wasn’t. I’d have to say that this is a film to avoid. You’ll never get that hour and forty minutes back.
Bottom Line: Oh what a shock, the director was also the writer….that doesn’t always work….