What if you realized one day that you were one of the most famous people in the world but no one around you knew it? That’s part of the premise of The Identical, which takes a unique fact about Elvis Presley (that he had a twin that died in the womb) and concocts a fairly uninteresting story about 9it.
Drexel Hemsley (Blake Rayne) is the biggest music star on the planet. He’s Elvis Presley … but without the endorsement of the Presley estate, he’s an identical star who looks like “The King” but isn’t actually “The King.” The Simpsons did this trick with Lucius Sweet, their parody of Don King in 1996, so it’s not exactly new to use a stand in when you potentially could get sued. Ryan Wade (also Rayne) is the son of a Baptist preacher who doesn’t want his child to become a rock and roll star. When Hemsley becomes the biggest star in rock and roll, Wade becomes a novelty act of sorts as “Ryan Wade, the identical” who plays all of Hemsley’s music nearly rote perfect.
The key is that he is the identical twin brother of Drexel, thus somehow the universe made it so that the two sang and danced exactly alike.
The film’s key premise, of the two being identical twins separated by fate, is an interesting one but ultimately it’s about as interesting as the film gets. This is a film trying to find a niche among the faith based audience and Elvis Presley fans, about a preacher’s son who doesn’t deny his faith but doesn’t hear the call to preach that his father (Ray Liotta) did. There something interesting and unique to be found in this ages old story of a son trying to please his father but not having the innate passion for the family business his dad does.
The problem is that the film is filled with all sorts of awful. This isn’t quite the worst film in the history of human creation, as some have put it, but it’s just a bad film. After the initial premise, which is actually really intriguing, it does absolutely nothing with the rest and becomes a difficult viewing at best. If you’re an Elvis diehard and want to see something that could be a useful piece of historical fiction this isn’t the worst thing in the world to spend time doing; just make sure you don’t spend a lot of money to do so.
A handful of EPK pieces and deleted scenes are the highlights from the Blu-ray release.
City of Peace Films presents The Identical. Directed by Dustin Marcellino. Written by Howard Klausner. Starring Ray Liotta, Ashley Judd, Blake Rayne. Run Time: 107 minutes Rated PG. Released on DVD: 1.13.2015
Tags: Ashley Judd, Elvis, Ray Liotta