‘Dual’ is a movie about woman prepares to battle her clone in Riley

The premise of “Dual,” which hinges on a woman feuding with her clone, feels as if it were cooked up after skimming a book of Jungian psychology. It takes place in a woodland dystopia where cloning is an option for terminal patients seeking to replace themselves. The pair cannot coexist, however; should the sick person recover, he or she must duel the clone to decide who lives on. It’s ego death, literalized.

The movie follows Sarah (Karen Gillan), who learns that she suffers from an unidentified, rare and incurable illness. Considering her loved ones, Sarah pays for a clone and begins priming her to fill her shoes.

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But dual identities are tricky. It turns out that Sarah’s double is less a sponge for her sensibilities than a lovelier, livelier foil, and even once Sarah goes into remission, her boyfriend (Beulah Koale) and mother (Maija Paunio) inexplicably snub her for the substitute.

Talk about stellar material for psychotherapy. Yet Sarah — not to mention the movie’s writer and director, Riley Stearns (“The Art of Self-Defense”) — seem nearly indifferent to issues of the self and psyche. Instead, the movie dedicates its run time to Sarah’s training for the obligatory battle against her clone. Aaron Paul, playing Sarah’s solemn and supportive combat coach, offers by far the most effective performance among a cast devoted to deadpan enunciation and blank stares.

There is something insincere in this movie’s manner, an aloofness that masquerades as satire but repels inquiry or emotion. “Dual” takes a worthy idea and throws a smoke bomb in its middle, leaving the audience to squint through the haze.

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Animales fantásticos: los secretos de dumbledore 2022

Animales fantásticos: los secretos de dumbledore 2022