Dual: To Go To War With One’s Self


Written by Luke Barnes


In the future a terminally ill woman, played by Karen Gillan, must face off against a clone of herself that she wants to decommission after making a miraculous recovery.

This one will not be to many people’s tastes. It is very oddly specific. If you perceive Stearns as an auteur director then you would say it is a very him film, his sensibilities are all over it. As I was watching this film I found myself thinking that it reminded me a lot of The Art Of Self Defence a criminally underrated Jessie Eisenberg film, and lo and behold it was made by the same director.

I found this film to be quite funny, I enjoyed both the tragic satire as well as the wider commentary on life and cycles of being. I wouldn’t say this film is a laugh out loud sort of film, it is more the occasional dry chuckle here and there kind of film, but I appreciated that about it.

Likewise, I thought Karen Gillan was great in the lead she really captured the spirit of the film, and made for a good straight man against the blatant absurdity of the futuristic scenario. Additionally, I also thought Aaron Paul was great in the few scenes that featured him and I really bought him as the trainer with the taste for domestic low budget horror movies.

My one issue with the film is that I would have liked to have seen the duel actually take place, as it happens Gillan’s character and her clone bond, only then for the clone to quickly kill her off with poison. A subversion of expectations. At first I didn’t like this and felt disappointed but then when the film’s finale had the clone ending up right back where the original character was, back in the same cycle, I thought the subversion totally worked and it all tied together nicely.

Overall, a film I greatly enjoyed though I am not sure if many others will.




The ending

The satire


I would have liked to see the duel actually happen

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