Review: The Lookalike (2014)

From director Richard Grey and writer Michele Davis-Gray, The Lookalike is a gritty noir thriller starring Justin Long (also a Producer on the film), Gillian Jacobs, John Corbett & Steven Bauer.

This plays like any other drug deal gone bad, mixed-morals thriller. I did however find the plot baffling and hard to follow at times. The screenplay seems to assume you will figure out the back story as you go along as there are no real exposition scenes at the start of the film. It uses that old device of introducing us gradually to the characters intertwining tales; but this has been done better by others many times before.

Justin Long playslookalike1 Holt, the socially-conscious flatmate of drug dealer Joe who sparks up a romance with junkie Lacey (Gillian Jacobs); but as the story develops we see there is more to this interaction than meets the eye. Long turns in his usual quirky performance.

Steven Bauer & John Corbett play the archetypal ‘villains’ of the piece. However, it is very hard to decide which characters you should be rooting for as the balance of power shifts throughout.  I also enjoyed Luis Guzman’s small role as the psychotic gambling shark Vincent.

Visually, it is obvious the film is going after a slightly noir look. However, this is far from exceptional and the cinematography does not really stand out. Overall this feels poorly executed and the pacing means the screenplay & cast does not live up to it’s full potential.

The film does however feature strong female characters (played by Scottie Thompson/Gillian Jacobs) which could be considered some-what unusual for the genre and is to it’s credit; especially in a story where women are objectified and this aspect is managed adeptly.


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