Did you know that Elvis Presley had an identical twin brother who was born stillborn 35 minutes before he was? The Identical presupposes that Elvis’ twin brother didn’t actually die, but that his penniless parents gave him up to a preacher (Ray Liotta) and his barren wife (Ashley Judd) because they couldn’t afford him.
Only it’s not actually Elvis, for reasons that probably have to do with intellectual property laws. Elvis is Drexel Helmsley, who is kind of like what Fruity-Os are to Fruit Loops, which is to say, twice the sugar and half the food coloring. His twin brother is Ryan Wade, who grows up completely unaware that he was adopted. Ryan, too, hears a musical calling, but his preacher father derails his dream by sending him to the army, and by the time he’s returned, Drexel/Elvis is a superstar.
That puts Ryan in the funny position of looking exactly like Elvis, and having the same genetic talents as Elvis, but since Elvis is already Elvis, Ryan can’t be Elvis. So, Ryan becomes an Elvis impersonator, of course, and Seth Green plays the drummer in his Elvis impersonator band, and why OH GOD WHY?! You have to be f**king kidding me with this sh*t, right? This cannot be an actual movie?
What idiotic 17-cell organism came up with this brilliant idea, anyway? Oh. Howard Klausner. The guy behind Space Cowboys? And Weird Science, the TV show. And director Dustin Marcellino, who probably has a cheap website and a 1-800 number offering his services to anyone that wants to make their dreams come true (as long as they have $10,000 and the will to succeed!).
Honestly, with the production values of a Kirk Cameron Save-Me-Jesus-Save-Me film, I anticipated throughout that the Elvis impersonators’ true calling would eventually become is church, but no: It’s almost worse than that. Elvis’ twin brother’s truest calling was to be an Elvis impersonator, but not the cool kind like Val Kilmer in five years. The uncool kind, like Kevin Costner ten years ago.
The only thing preventing this film from being the worst movie of 2014 is the fact that no one will remember it a week from now. It’s being released on 2000 screens — the only wide release of the weekend. No one will see it. People who accidentally stumble into it while looking for the bathroom will blackout from boredom and leave urine puddles in screenings across the country. People will remember the urine stains. No one will remember The Identical.
In fact, movies like this should not be allowed screen on 2000 screens. when a movie like Boyhood never reaches more than 750 screens or Snowpiercer opens on 350 screens and is dumped onto VOD the next weekend. Apparently, by calling yourself a “Christian Musical Drama” you get to circumvent the system. It doesn’t make a goddamn lick of sense to me, but then again, neither does The Identical, the movie equivalent of an Elvis impersonator impersonating an Elvis impersonator.