My Own Worst Enemy Review: Half Baked

June 10, 2009 by  
Filed under - Home, Reviews

MY OWN WORST ENEMY, Thursday 11th June, Sci Fi Channel UK, 9.00pm ALERT ME

When the promotional material describes the lead as ‘a kick-ass secret agent for a shady, clandestine government organisation,’ you know he’ll be no James Bond. In fact, Edward Albright, the spy half of a Jekyll and Hyde character played by Christian Slater, is not even a plausible Jason Bourne-alike.

The opening scene to establish Edward as a top class secret agent involves some of the worst spy tactics I ever seen. It is enough to convince the audience that this bloke’s a spy because he hangs around in the dark in Paris, communicating over several feet of open ground by flashing a torch? Hardly inconspicuous.

And then add to that, he’s not just emotionless and bad at spying, he only goes and lets his feeling get in the way of an assignment. By killing a woman.

So, Edward is a spy, but he’s a spy with a strange secret because Edward is also Henry, the second half of his split personality.

But how can these two, separate, radically different people inhabit the same body, you wonder. And what’s more, why would anyone believe this garbage? Well, glad you asked because here comes the science bit. Said shady government organisation (are these paid for with tax payers’ money?) have manifested in Edward ‘a divergent identity dormant in a sealed off portion of the medial temporal lobe’ which creates a split personality.

That’s right, Henry doesn’t suspect that his 9 – 5 existence with a wife and two kids is merely a construct to provide cover for Edward’s underground antics. And how can these two people fit all of this into just 24hrs? Oh, right. Edward doesn’t sleep.

What do you mean that could never happen? It just did, alright?

It all gets a bit confusing in this first episode when we discover that some of Henry’s day-to-day work colleagues are also secret agents who don’t suffer from split personality syndrome. Plus there’s the wife and kids who have no idea that the man who leaves for work in the morning is running missions to Russia, but then neither does he. The difficulty in maintaining the two separate makes you question if it would ever be worth the bother.

And to make matters worse, Henry is beginning to wonder if there’s something in his recent dreams about a trip to Paris he doesn’t remember making. And here’s a little tip if you’re trying to keep one side of your split personality secret from the other. #1 – Don’t leave little clues such as matchbooks in your trousers pockets, they will inevitably arouse suspicion. #2 – If your ‘other half’ doesn’t smoke, maybe you shouldn’t, too. He’s likely to be concerned that his mouth tastes like an ashtray every time he wakes up.

Shoddy, flaky and ill-conceived yet brilliantly unaware action adventure at its worse/best.

Jack McKay