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Jesse Eisenberg (right) and Mia Wasikowska star in "The Double." Courtesy Magnolia Films
Movie review: Dark atmosphere masks a lack of substance in ‘The Double’
First Published Jun 19 2014 03:38 pm • Last Updated Jun 20 2014 05:14 pm

Though it’s based on a Fyodor Dostoyevsky novella, director Richard Ayoade’s "The Double" comes off as an unpleasantly grim mix of Franz Kafka and Terry Gilliam.

Jesse Eisenberg takes double duty as two employees at an oppressively bleak company: Simon James, a cubicle drone nervous to make waves, and James Simon, a new arrival who instantly charms the boss (Wallace Shawn) and starts making moves on Hannah (Mia Wasikowska), the pretty co-worker for whom Simon James has been pining.

At a glance


‘The Double’

Opens Friday, June 20, at the Tower Theatre; rated R for language; 93 minutes.

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Ayoade, who directed the coming-of-age tale "Submarine" and is better-known as a TV comic (starring on "The IT Crowd"), and co-writer Avi Korine saturate the story with dark surface details that highlight Simon’s spiraling madness. But with a minimal plot and one-dimensional characters, there’s not much substance behind the surplus of style.

movies@sltrib.com; www.sltrib.com/entertainment

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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