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Ending of Dual (2022) Explained

The ending of Dual (2022) leaves viewers pondering the nature of identity and the ethical implications of cloning. The clone tricks Sarah, takes her place, and lives her life.

Dual (2022) is a science-fiction dark comedy directed by Riley Stearns. The film stars Karen Gillan and Aaron Paul. It explores cloning and the existential dilemmas it presents. The story is set in a dystopian world where terminally ill people can clone themselves to spare their loved ones the grief of their death. But if the original person recovers, they must duel their clone to the death.

Plot Summary

The film begins with a duel between a man and his clone, setting the stage for the central conflict. Sarah, a depressed alcoholic, learns she has a terminal illness. To spare her loved ones, she opts for a cloning procedure. But Sarah recovers, leading to a legal mandate that she and her clone must duel to determine who will live.

Sarah trains rigorously with Trent, her combat trainer, to prepare for the duel. The film delves into the emotional and psychological elaborateities of Sarah’s situation. It explores her interactions with her clone and the people around her. The deadpan humor and dark satire highlight the absurdity and poignancy of the premise.

Ending Explained

The climax of Dual is marked by a twist. Sarah and her clone are set to duel. However, the clone tricks Sarah by poisoning her, making her unable to participate in the duel. The clone then takes Sarah’s place in court and in her life. She integrates into Sarah’s relationships with her boyfriend Peter and her mother.

The film ends with the clone living Sarah’s life. Subtle hints, like the clone’s unfamiliarity with driving and different food preferences, suggest that Peter and Sarah’s mother might suspect something. But their acceptance of the clone indicates a deeper commentary on identity and the human tendency to accept convenient realities.


Identity and Selfhood

Dual explores identity through cloning. It raises questions about what it means to be oneself. Can a clone, despite being an exact replica, truly replace the original person? The clone’s ability to take over Sarah’s life challenges the notion of individuality. It suggests that identity may be more fluid and malleable than traditionally believed.

Grief and Loss

The film delves into grief and loss, especially how society deals with the death of loved ones. The cloning procedure is marketed as a way to spare families the pain of losing a loved one. But the film reveals the emotional and ethical elaborateities of this solution. The support group for survivors of clone duels highlights the psychological toll, including feelings of impostor syndrome and guilt.

Satire and Dark Humor

Riley Stearns uses deadpan humor and satire to critique societal norms and technological advancements. The dystopian setting and absurd premise serve as a backdrop for a biting commentary. The humor underscores the absurdity of the situation, making the film thought-provoking and entertaining.

Critical Reception

Dual received mixed reviews. Some praised its unique premise and dark humor, while others criticized its lack of emotional depth. According to Roger Ebert, the film’s flat affect and chilly visuals create a spooky interest. But it avoids delving into deeper psychological and existential implications. Karen Gillan’s performance in her dual role is excellent, but the film feels tepid and distant.

Similarly, The New York Times describes the film as insincere, with an aloofness that repels inquiry or emotion. The review criticizes the film for leaving many intriguing questions unexplored, resulting in an incomplete narrative.

On the other hand, High on Films appreciates the film’s exploration of human interactions and its dystopian world. The review highlights the effective use of deadpan humor and commentary on the emotional and ethical implications of cloning.


Dual (2022) is a thought-provoking film that uses a dystopian premise to explore elaborate themes of identity, grief, and the human condition. Its ending leaves some questions unanswered but challenges viewers to consider the ethical and emotional ramifications of cloning. The film’s blend of dark humor and satire, combined with solid performances, makes it a compelling addition to the science-fiction genre.


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