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Tiger's Tail, The


Stars: Brendan Gleeson, Sinead Cusack, Kim Cattrall, Ciaran Hinds, Sean McGinley, Angeline Ball

Director: John Boorman

The idea of a 'double' emerging to take over a man's life has been explored before, notably in The Man Who Haunted Himself and, in rather different vein, Sommersby. But director Boorman can't quite decide to what to do with the idea here, and the result is a bit of a mess.

Big-time Irish builder Liam O'Leary (Gleeson, looking more than ever like John Prescott), showered with awards, but with his firm in financial trouble, finds himself being dogged by a man who looks just like him. Even as he establishes that the doppelganger is his long-lost twin, he is lured away on a chase by the double, and left in the middle of nowhere.

Returning home, he finds that the other man has taken possession of both his wife (Cattrall) and his life. Finding the front door bolted, with your spouse and son inside, you would of course ring the bell, but Gleeson decides on a ladder to an upstairs window - the beginning of a catalogue of disasters which ends with him being locked away in a psychiatric ward.

You wonder, too, why Gleeson is attempting a north country accent as the double when this would surely have hampered the impersonation. In the end, though, it's tough to care. 'You've had hard times!' his sister (Cusack) tells him - though she could have been addressing the audience. Even so, the very subject ensures that the film does stay interesting to the end, with some decent ironic twists thrown in.

Bewilderingly given an 18 certificate by the BBFC.

David Quinlan

Ireland/UK 2006. UK Distributor: Buena Vista. Technicolor.
107 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 18.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 04 Jun 2007