Jesse Eisenberg in 'The Double'

Anyone who’s experimented with watching modern British sitcoms at all knows who Richard Ayoade is. As more and more people get hip to things like Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace and The IT Crowd, more and more people fall in love with his peculiar energy and geeky charm. It turns out acting isn’t the only skill that Ayoade has in his bag of tricks though. He’s also been writing and directing movies recently, with his 2010 film Submarine being both a strong debut for a filmmaker and an underrated coming of age tale that more people probably still need to see.

It looks like fans of Ayoade’s acting who have been slacking when it comes to getting hip to his career as a filmmaker are going to have another chance to hop on board soon enough though, because the second film that he served as writer/director on, The Double, is fresh off of a successful debut on the festival circuit, and is getting ready ready for a limited run in theaters. And seeing as this one looks to be a noir-influenced thriller that features already well-regarded actors like Jesse Eisenberg, Mia Wasikowska, and the legendary Wallace Shawn, maybe more people will actually give it a look.

That thing starts off pretty weird with all of the narration about snakes and Eisenberg giving the camera all of those creepy looks, huh? It definitely gets exciting by the end though. So much so that it’s not even all that intimidating that this story started its life as a novella by one of those infamously challenging Russian masters, Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Heady stuff doesn’t always have to feel like homework. There’s always been something deeply disturbing about the concept of an evil twin, so much so that even Evil Superman getting drunk and smashing up a bar in Superman III creeped me out when I was a kid (let’s not discuss evil Peter Parker’s dance moves and swoopy bangs in Spider-Man 3), so a whole movie that builds itself around that premise should prove to be an engaging and tense experience, especially with an actor who’s as good at projecting anxiety as Eisenberg in the lead.

If you’re still feeling like you’re on the fence about seeing this one, even after such a moody and interesting trailer, then maybe our positive review from when it played TIFF last year will help seal the deal. The Double hits theaters in the US on May 9.


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