‘Dual’ Review: A Cerebal thriller that deserves attention


Upon receiving a terminal diagnosis, Sarah opts for a cloning procedure to ease her loss on her friends and family. When she makes a sudden and miraculous recovery, her attempts to decommission her clone fail, leading to a court-mandated duel to the death. Now, she has one year to train her mind and body for the fight of her life.


Dual is the follow-up to The Art of Self Defense by director Riley Steams, distributed by RLJE films and XYZ Films, a much more low-key release than his previous film being released by Amazon Studios in more cinemas as well. Dual unfortunately will not be seen by many people during its initial release in cinemas but needs to be seen for its originality. The beauty of Dual does not come from its A-list cast including Karen Gillan and Aaron Paul, yet it comes from the story by Riley Steams.

Karen Gillan is given a tough task by Riley Steams, who commands a committed performance that the main actress he needed from Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots in The Art of Self Defense. The opening sequence of Dual lets you know automatically what kind of movie it is going to be and what audience it will be aimed towards. It is deadpan and very dry dark witty humor to the point it will likely go over a lot of people’s heads throughout the film. Riley Steams already established a niche with his style of filmmaking and writing.

It’s no different with the cerebalness of Dual, the pacing is dry and slow but the acting keeps you invested in a whirlwind of a thriller. That is a breath of fresh air into the big cinematic scale of movies that are in cinemas currently right now. Riley Steams is an extraordinary director that should be on everyone’s radar when it comes to his next project. I’d be interested if a studio would give him the chance to go all out on a film like Legendary did with Jody Hill or like Focus Features recently did with Robert Eggers.

Overall Grade: 3/5 stars

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