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Movie review: Gyllenhaal doubles up in weakly plotted 'Enemy'

Published April 4, 2014 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Jake Gyllenhaal does double duty in "Enemy," a Kafkaesque drama that builds menacing atmosphere at the expense of character or clarity.

Gyllenhaal plays Adam, a mousy history professor with an exasperated girlfriend, Mary (Melanie Laurent). One night, Adam discovers there's an actor, Anthony (also played by Gyllenhaal), who's a dead ringer for him. The two meet, and the assertive Anthony hatches a plan to cheat on his pregnant wife, Helen (Sarah Gadon), to take over Adam's life for a weekend fling with Mary.

Director Denis Villeneuve (who worked with Gyllenhaal on "Prisoners") creates some striking images — whether it's a depiction of a gray, decaying Toronto, or sending Anthony into an "Eyes Wide Shut" fetish club where men observe nude women squishing spiders — that ultimately serve only to pad a thin story.

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Opens Friday, April 4, at the Tower Theatre; rated R for some strong sexual content, graphic nudity and language; 90 minutes.