Not for the first time, Karen Gillan is facing herself on film. But the outcome of Dual‘s face-off is likely to be a little different than that time she—as Amy Pond—flirted with herself on Doctor Who. This time? There’s a clone. There’s a battle to the death. There can be only one, as the ancient cinematic saying goes. “Can’t have two of you walking around forever,” someone tells Sarah (Gillan). “That’d be ridiculous.”
Dual comes from writer-director Riley Stearns, who also made The Art of Self-Defense. Here, Stearns tells the story of Sarah, who opts to clone herself when she learns she’s dying. But then—whoopsie!—she’s not dying. And only one of her can live. With her life on the line, Sarah enlists a trainer (Aaron Paul) to teach her how to triumph in the required duel to the death (which is televised, because of course it is).
It’s all very heavy and existential, yeah, but this trailer is also funny. Dry, wry, off-kilter funny, which is one of the best kinds. And it’s entirely in keeping with Gillan’s constantly interesting choices as an actress, from Who to Selfie to however many Marvel movies to The Party’s Just Beginning—the very depressing yet deeply affecting indie film she also wrote and directed.
If you’ve been watching Severance (and you should be!), Dual might seem like a distant sibling, another fascinating story about different versions and parts of our selves, and how we reconcile (or destroy) those selves. Dual is in theaters April 15th.
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