Have you ever looked around the theater just to make sure your not being pranked?
“The Identical” is a movie based on a “what if” we’ve all asked ourselves at some point in our lives, What if Elvis had an identical twin brother? What? You’ve never considered it? Well, no worries, this movie will consider it for you. The story follows identical twin brothers, Drexel and Ryan, separated at birth, who both end up with a love and passion for music even as they follow different paths. As Drexel becomes a superstar, Ryan has to come to terms with his own purpose and family secrets, all of which gets lost in one of the most ridiculous movies I’ve seen in a long time. Yeah, this one is just strange to watch. I mean I think they were being serious with it, but it’s one of those movies you can’t help but wonder if maybe they were in on the joke.
And I don’t just mean in all the normal ways. Yes the script is awful, the acting mediocre, and the musical score maudlin and overbearing, but its the premise that feels the most ridiculous. Maybe I don’t quite understand human psychology, but if you see someone famous who looks like you, sings like you, and moves like you, how do you not just assume that’s your twin? I mean he doesn’t look a little like you, he looks exactly like you! The fact that everyone in this movie takes the, “huh, interesting” approach is mind boggling. Also, and probably the worst thing, this music is awful. Not for a second do I believe a single one of these songs would have ever been a radio hit in any universe. They are lazily written, unmemorable melodies, that clutter up the entire movie. I mean, I’m not the biggest Elvis fan, but this is a sad imitation of his style and success as an artist. Speaking of which, he’s mentioned in the film as a living artist. I think the line is, “There’s only one Elvis, One Drexel, and One Beatles” Wait a second, how does Elvis exist in this world too?! Wouldn’t Drexel have been considered the Elvis impersonator then? And his brother the Elvis impersonator impersonator? It makes no sense. But not much in this movie does, even as it tries to have a heart and bring some meaning, it’s hard not to laugh at the silliness on the screen. And maybe that’s the best thing.
There’s plenty of unintentional humor value here. I found myself often chuckling at just how crazy it is that a movie like this exists and enjoying the sheer insanity of it. And sure, there’s a faith based message in there somewhere, but I’m not even sure what exactly it was, why it mattered, or what the resolution to it was.
At the end of the day, “The Identical” is a well meaning movie with a premise so ridiculous and poorly executed that its almost impossible to buy into. It’s only because it’s unintentional silliness can often be amusing that it escapes with a D-.