Elvis Presley's legacy weighs heavily on The Identical, even though he is only mentioned once. Rather than obtaining the rights to make a proper biopic, the filmmakers imagine what might happen if the rock 'n' roll legend's stillborn twin brother survived and went on to achieve fame as a professional Elvis impersonator.
We begin in the 1930s as the strain of the Great Depression prompts poor William and Helen Hemsley (Brian Geraghty, Amanda Crew) to surrender one of their twin newborns to the reluctant care of Reverend Reece Wade (Ray Liotta) and his wife (Ashley Judd), who are unable to conceive. Jump ahead to the '50s, and young Ryan Wade (Blake Rayne) finds himself in the grip of honky-tonk temptation as he draws constant comparisons to rising star Drexel Hemsley (also Rayne), much to the reverend's dismay.
If Rayne weren't such a blank slate, it might not matter that first-time director Dustin Marcellino and co-producers Jerry and Yochanan Marcellino (music industry veterans responsible for the film's bland songs) couldn't decide which kind of movie they were making: an unauthorized tribute to Elvis, the umpteenth cautionary tale about the perils of stardom, or an old-fashioned melodrama about clashing fathers and sons.
Instead, the film skirts along each thread much as it skims through each decade of the era, changing haircuts with every montage and placing more emphasis on the Six-Day War of 1967 than either World War II or the Vietnam conflict. In short, the filmmakers' muddled intentions show, making The Identical a folly unworthy of the King.