Karen Gillan delivers two knockout performances in Riley Stearns’ hilarious, ultra-deadpan comedy about a woman and her nightmarishly perfect clone who must battle it out to be the last one standing.
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“Riley Stearns follows up his arch comedy The Art of Self-Defense with this darkly amusing science fiction, set in a world where human cloning has become a mundane fact of life. Diagnosed with a terminal disease, Sarah (Karen Gillan) decides to clone herself to leave someone behind for her boyfriend and mother; when she turns out not to be dying after all, the government mandates that she duel her double to the death for the entertainment of the masses. The film retains Stearns’s fondness for clipped, unnatural dialogue (think Yorgos Lanthimos) and fascination with the rituals of violence. Gillan’s dry double performance in the lead is most memorable, along with a hilariously mordant Aaron Paul as her combat trainer.” — David Sims, The Atlantic
“A dry-as-hell dark comedy set in a retro future… Dual adds a fresh sprinkle of doom to the already savage deadpan of Stearns’ previous work, and bitterly crystallizes the existential anxieties that have crushed down on so many of us with new weight since the pandemic started. That it also allows Karen Gillan to give two hilarious performances, both colder than death but at distinctly different temperatures, is just icing on the cake.” — David Ehrlich, Indiewire