Double Identity: DVD Review

Title: Double Identity
Genre: Thriller
Starring: Val Kilmer,
Izabella Miko,
Julian Wadham,
Certificate: US: R
UK: 15
Picture: 2.35:1
Audio Format: Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English
Runtime: 1 Hour 29 mins
Extras: None
Studio: Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Release Date: USA: Feb 23 2010
UK: May 16 2011
See If You Like: Val Kilmer,

Another shining example of just how low Val Kilmer; the former heartthrob, Heat star, and Batman Forever actor; has sunk, Double Identity places the ex-star in another low-rent, straight-to-DVD movie that few people will see, and even fewer will enjoy.

Kilmer stars as an American doctor working in Eastern Europe, who ends up living with the titular double identity after he’s inexplicably mistaken for a Russian secret agent, and finds himself on the run, and caught between a vicious band of diamond smugglers, and a group of secret agents working for an unknown organization.

The premise then, isn’t a bad one; an ordinary bloke gets pulled into a world of intrigue, action, and suspense (albeit in a manner so stupid it will leave viewers baffled even past the film’s conclusion), and finds himself fighting for his life against some true thugs; the only problem is that there isn’t any intrigue, there’s barely any action (what there is feels like a pre-teen effort at creating a Bourne movie), and there’s zero suspense; leading anyone watching to think… “what’s the point?”

Suspense may have been present in the film, if two things didn’t hamper its development totally; an utterly incomprehensible plot that will leave all but the most devout fan (the only people that fall into this category will be the filmmakers themselves; and even then they will probably be embarrassed to admit liking it) bewildered, and the fact that everything that can be understood, can be seen coming about an hour before the ‘reveal’; sapping any and all enjoyment out of the movie.

It’s difficult to think of anything positive to say about Double Identity; other than mentioning it’s clear effectiveness as a sleeping pill; it’s a picture that has a slim amount of promise that’s totally wasted, thanks to a ham-fisted script, generally poor acting, and a terrible execution; which means it’s not a film anybody should watch, ever.


Unlike the film itself, Double Identity’s video transfer isn’t utterly unwatchable, or even just plain terrible; it’s actually not that bad; it has its share of issues; a bit of banding, aliasing, pixelation, and being fairly soft overall; but the detail is adequate, blacks are solid, and both the colour and skintones are acceptable; however even if the transfer was perfect, it wouldn’t be enough to make you want to watch such an awful film.


Likewise the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack that has been included on the DVD release of Double Identity is better than the film it serves, though not exemplary; dialogue is well anchored in the front channels, and rarely becomes lost or muffled, the surround channels get a decent amount of use thanks to various effects and ambient noises, and though there is bass present it remains fairly weak; serving the film better than it needs to, but still not providing any thrills.


Double Identity comes to DVD without a single extra, special feature, of piece of bonus material; a sort of blessing in disguise, as no-one who watches this film is going to want to examine its production, or extend their pain for any longer than they have to. Seeing the film was bad enough, and not having to sit through a collection of weak extras is something of a comfort.

The Bottom Line:

A cheap attempt at creating a new North by Northwest that likely only made it into production thanks to having a star like Val Kilmer cast as the lead, and a film that really should never have made it that far; sure the DVD quality is acceptable (ignoring the special features), but straight-to-DVD? Double Identity should have gone straight in the bin. Avoid this film at all costs, you have been warned.

Matt Wheeldon@TheMattWheeldon.

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Matt Wheeldon is the Founder, and Editor in Chief of Good Film Guide. He still refers to the cinema as "the pictures", and has what some would describe as a misguided appreciation for Waterworld.
  • J185

    Totally agree with the above. What started as ‘OK’ quickly became ‘what!” and ‘really!’
    including the casual acceptance by Kilmer of having been duped by the people that rescued him, conveniently hidden in the safe room under a platform that Kilmer randomly chose. Can’t believe I finished this.