“The Identical” Movie Review


The Identical opens at the end of the Great Depression during the latter half of the 1930s, introducing a young couple doing their best to survive and a preacher and his wife hoping for a miracle. Faith brings the two couples together and in a heart wrenching moment, the story of our main character, Ryan Wade, begins.

Director, Dustin Marcellino, chooses to start the film in black and white for the back story, befitting of the hard times and deeper story line at the beginning of the film, then switches to color afterwards.

We catch glimpses of a young Ryan Wade growing up in Tennessee as the son of a Christian preacher set mostly in the church. It is clear early on that the boy has a beautiful voice, but seems to have more of an interest in music than he does in his religious studies. As Ryan gets older we see he’s just a regular teenage boy, who loves music and has a penchant for getting into trouble with his friend Dino, played by Seth Green.

After Ryan and Dino get caught sneaking into a music bar with their two underage dates, Ryan’s parents try to shelter him from the music he loves so much, and put him on the path to following in his father’s footsteps. All seems to be going according to plan, until a young singer named Drexel Hemsley rocks the air waves and Ryan is hooked. The growing popularity of Drexel Hemsley’s rock’n’roll music, causes people in town to notice what a resemblance the handsome young Ryan has to the singer, and Ryan himself wonders at the similarities. At the encouragement of his girlfriend, Ryan enters a local talent competition and wins, earning a gig as a Drexel impersonator, and goes on tour, much to the disappointment of his father.

There is no denying that the main character, Ryan Wade, and the singer he bears an uncanny resemblance to, are inspired by Elvis Presley. The film uses the similarity more to pay homage to an era, including referring to other popular singers of the time period, such as Jerry Lee Lewis, Gene Vincent and Roy Orbison. There is even a song in the film “Bee-Boppin Baby” that brings to mind Gene Vincent’s popular hit, “Be Bop A Lula.” Despite the comparison, all the music in the The Identical is original, and actor Blake Rayne, sings all of his own songs in the film. If you are a fan of the 1950’s you will enjoy the classic cars, the spot-on fashion and of course, the soundtrack.

The Identical is mostly a coming of age story of a young man trying to find out who he is and what he wants to do with his life. The importance of family and faith is an ongoing theme throughout the film, with likeable characters, a little romance, lots of music, and comedic relief from Seth Green’s character, Dino. ]

The Identical:[usr 3]

About The Identical

Synopsis: A coming of age story like no other. Ryan Wade is the son of a Christian preacher in Tennessee. From a young age Ryan shows musical talent, and uses it mostly in church, until Ryan discovers a Honky Tonk bar and later the music of an Elvis-like crooner, Drexel Hemsley. Ryan bares an uncanny resemblance to the singer and gains attention as a Drexel impersonator, much to the chagrin of his family. During a journey of self discovery Ryan learns about his past, and must choose whether to follow in his Father’s footsteps, or follow his own dreams.

Director: Dustin Marcellino

Writer: Howard Klausner

Stars: Seth Green, Ashley Judd, Joe Pantoliano, Blake Rayne, Ray Liotta

Rated: PG

Runtime: 107 minutes

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments