True Identity

  • 1991
  • Movie
  • R
  • Comedy, Crime

Directed by co-star Charles Lane, who made his feature debut with the critically acclaimed low-budget film SIDEWALK STORIES, TRUE IDENTITY has a certain scruffy charm despite its many flaws. Much of that charm emanates from star Lenny Henry, a popular British comedian making his US feature debut. After crossing mobster Frank Luchnio (Frank Langella),...read more

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Directed by co-star Charles Lane, who made his feature debut with the critically acclaimed low-budget film SIDEWALK STORIES, TRUE IDENTITY has a certain scruffy charm despite its many flaws. Much of that charm emanates from star Lenny Henry, a popular British comedian making his US

feature debut.

After crossing mobster Frank Luchnio (Frank Langella), aspiring actor Miles Pope (Henry) needs to disappear. With the help of his friend Duane (Charles Lane), a special effects artist, Pope hits upon the perfect disguise: since Miles is black, what could be better than passing as a white man? The

ruse is so successful that Miles manages to infiltrate Luchino's circle of goons. While gathering information that he intends to pass along to skeptical FBI agent Craig Houston (J.T. Walsh), Pope falls in love with the delightful Kristi Reeves (Anne-Marie Johnson) and gets a shot at the role of a

lifetime--Othello.

TRUE IDENTITY's premise is an intriguing one, and seems ripe with comic potential. But the film never rises to the occasion: it's consistently soft, and comedy with no edge--particularly comedy with a social agenda, as any comedy about a black man passing for white is bound to be--is seldom

funny. Technically, TRUE IDENTITY is at best competent, and sometimes falls a little short of that. Mismatched shots and clumsy compositions abound. With the exception of Pope, the characters are both one-dimensional and broadly played; that's not a fault per se, but contributes to the movie's

overall crude feel.

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  • Released: 1991
  • Rating: R
  • Review: Directed by co-star Charles Lane, who made his feature debut with the critically acclaimed low-budget film SIDEWALK STORIES, TRUE IDENTITY has a certain scruffy charm despite its many flaws. Much of that charm emanates from star Lenny Henry, a popular Brit… (more)

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