Combustible Celluloid
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With: Jerry O'Connell, Justin Long, Gillian Jacobs, John Corbett, Scottie Thompson, Gina Gershon, Luis Guzmán, Steven Bauer, John Savage, Felisha Terrell, Bernard D. Jones, Bobby Ray Cauley Jr., Rio Hackford, Rico Ball, Michael Yebba
Written by: Michele Davis-Gray
Directed by: Richard Gray
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 100
Date: 11/07/2014

The Lookalike (2014)

2 Stars (out of 4)

Double and Nothing

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Written by Michele Davis-Gray and directed by Richard Gray, The Lookalike seems like it ought to be a comedy with its normally goofy stars Jerry O'Connell and Justin Long as brothers, and it has trouble establishing a tone. It tries for "breezy," which then sours as the movie tackles serious themes such as drug addiction and women as sex objects.

Joe Mulligan (O'Connell) is a cocaine dealer who dreams of starting his own cooking show, but must work to pay off an old debt. Meanwhile, his younger brother, Holt (Long), has racked up his own debt and has become an addict on Joe's supply. After an accident, Joe's boss (John Corbett) is charged with finding a lookalike for a blond girl to sleep with the big boss (John Savage). A strung-out Lacey (Gillian Jacobs), who goes to buy drugs and meets Holt instead, fits the bill. Lacey and Holt begin a love affair, just as Joe meets and falls for a beautiful deaf woman, Mila (Scottie Thompson). Finally, a cop (Gina Gershon) is tailing Lacey. The brothers just might be able to turn a corner, if they can survive one deadly night.

Eventually, The Lookalike simply tries to juggle too many characters, plotlines, backstories, and motivations, and by the time it arrives at the climax, viewers may feel that they've missed something. And by introducing so many threads, it's inevitable that the movie fails to tie them all up in any satisfying way. Generally, it feels unbalanced, as if it were either trying too hard or not trying hard enough, and it never really decided what it actually wanted to, or could, be.

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