‘DOUBLE BLIND’ IS SAVED BY INSIGHTFUL PERFORMANCES
Reviewed by Stacey Yvonne: In a lab environment a ‘double blind’ is a type of test that withholds information that might sway or influence the tester, the subject, or the results. Often this can refer to things like the sex of the patient, race or age, or even familial relations. The less those involved know about each other, the less the results can be manipulated. This can be ideal in a test environment, but in Double Blind we are shown many negative consequences of being withholding.
Double Blind stars Jennifer Jarrett (Dudleytown) and Christopher Showerman (Supergirl) as agents tracking down a mysterious assassin who is later named Gareth Smith (Phillip Daniel). Gareth is infiltrating the lives of employees at a pharma developer run by Dr. Randall Frasier (John Elsen). The good doctor has developed a drug that could be game-changing for those suffering from a rare brand of cancer.
Double Blind broaches the subject of greed and corruption in the medical community. With scientific advances where they are, is the inability to find cures for life’s most debilitating diseases by design? Is it more profitable to discover a cure or a treatment that requires more medicine to counter its side effects? People are killed not just to steal secrets, but to buy them so they never see the light of day. It’s an interesting conundrum and one that Double Blind tackles without being too heavy-handed.
The film begins with several murders and Agents Jessica Tucker (Jarrett) and John Smith (Showerman) are tasked with protecting the assassin’s lone survivor and her family. When their safe house is compromised, Tucker takes the group off-grid to her estranged father’s house. While trying to figure out the true motive of the assassin, Tucker and Smith must contend with internal deception, an unwilling victim, and Tucker’s own interpersonal relationships.
Shot in black and white, the film has a noir feel to it that works well with the subject matter. It’s definitely an indie film, but the actors are 100% committed. Tucker’s relationship with her dad, Doug (Andy Gates) is just as mysterious as the main plot. Figuring out the friction between them really helps the audience to understand Tucker’s brazen attitude and chip-adorned shoulder. Their relationship (or the lack thereof) informs not only her relationship with her partner, Smith, but also with her live-in boyfriend, and the victim and her daughter.
Jessica is intelligent and cunning and has an unforgiving eye for detail, while Smith is more laid back and content to go with his gut. Separately they each possess something the other needs to be a bearable workmate. Smart money would turn this movie into a backdoor pilot for an unconventional buddy agent series, the two have an undeniable chemistry that doesn’t rely on romance to work. Smith has unmistakable charm and patience, especially when dealing with the victim’s daughter. He understands the need to have their charges stay calm and comfortable in stressful situations. He spends a lot of the movie saving them from Jessica’s blunt and sometimes irrational demands. The scenes work at distracting your attention just enough while the main plot settles in.
The film was directed and co-written by Thomas Moser (husband of cast member Katharine Phillips Moser) and co-written by Rana Rines (who may have the best IMDb bio I’ve ever read!). Moser is a man of many talents, directing, composing, and producing on Double Blind. His background consists mainly of visual effects and storyboard art. The effect can be shown in the shockingly well-done effects and the beauty of some shots despite being all black and white.
It’s a film you won’t regret watching on a meandering weekend afternoon. It’s engaging and the performances and chemistry between Tucker and Smith will leave you wanting more after the credits.
Double Blind is available on Amazon Prime.