Jesse Eisenberg is just one of those guys … one of those guys whose prose pops up in The New Yorker and McSweeney’s despite the fact it really has no right to be there (See also: Michael Cera). He’s one of those guys who fancies himself an uncompromising intellectual despite appearing in bullshit fare like Now You See Me. Jesse Eisenberg is one of those guys the general public loves in certain roles (i.e., Adventureland, The Social Network) despite ignoring the overwhelming majority of his films.
Jesse Eisenberg is just one of those guys, alright … one of those guys who, when asked what originally attracted him to a movie like The Double, might simply stare ahead and say, “It’s Dostoyevsky.”
That’s who Jesse Eisenberg is.
Unfortunately, Dostoevsky does not translate well amidst the dark and tangled mess that is Richard Ayoade’s The Double. Ayoade’s movie is bland and unrewarding, the cinematic equivalent of being locked inside a vacancy. Certain critics will employ the term “dystopian” when attempting to describe Ayoade’s film. What these critics are actually trying to say is that The Double is irretrievably dire and grim. That being the case, one’s best bet might be to stay at home and enjoy an encore screening of Adventureland. It features Jesse Eisenberg in a relatable coming-of-age tale, and – as the title might suggest – it also represents the polar opposite of dystopia.
Your best bet: Revisit 2002’s Roger Dodger, a largely overlooked motion picture which features Eisenberg in his most endearing role. It’s currently streaming via Netflix.
(The Double opens in limited release this Friday.)