“The Devil’s Double,” a new film about the unbelievable story of a young Iraqi army lieutenant named Latif Yahia who is forced to become Uday Hussein’s body double, has a lot to work with: The talent of Dominic Cooper (who does double duty as both the honorable Latif and the crazed, unstable Uday), the fact this insane story is actually true, the cheesy opulence of late ’80s Baghdad which is so well captured on film, and the slick direction of Lee Tamoahori (“XXX: State of the Union”). Luckily, “The Devil’s Double” doesn’t waste these gifts. Tamoahori takes many cues from David O. Russell’s seminal, scathing Iraqi flick, “Three Kings,” as “The Devil’s Double” is able to mix style with horror and even humor while using personal conscience to showcase the brutality of war without preaching.
It’s just unfortunate that the tight, if gruesome, drama that marks the first two-thirds of the film unravels into a great big slop towards the end. But no matter — Dominic Cooper still comes out of the muck unscathed, delivering an award-worthy performance that will firmly entrench him in the big leagues.