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Film review: ‘The Identical’

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Blake Rayne is out of his depth in The Identical.

Two stars

The Identical Blake Rayne, Ray Liotta, Ashley Judd. Directed by Dustin Marcellino. Rated PG. Opens Friday.

What if Elvis Presley’s stillborn identical twin brother was actually secretly sent to live with another family and grew up to become an Elvis impersonator? That’s the rather silly but potentially intriguing scenario posed by the faith-based drama The Identical, although the movie’s bland wholesomeness and meager production values get in the way of exploring the idea with any real depth. The biggest problem is casting Elvis impersonator and first-time actor Blake Rayne as Ryan Wade, the unwitting twin brother of Elvis-like rock star Drexel “The Dream” Hemsley. Rayne is out of his depth next to the cast of veteran actors, including Ray Liotta and Ashley Judd as Ryan’s adoptive parents, a stern preacher and his wife. The religious message is less heavy-handed than it could have been, although the omnipresent narration obliterates any possible subtlety. Mostly Rayne just coasts through the movie looking dazed, only coming to life when he sings one of the off-brand faux-Elvis songs on the soundtrack.

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  • An astonishingly tone-deaf portrait of smug, patronizing privilege—a film that, despite being thoroughly English, exemplifies the concept of the ugly American.

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