The opening credits of Double Jeopardy are pretty cool. The words come
up onto the screen and then divide, so it looks like you're seeing
double. Get it? Double credits for Double Jeopardy?
There's an old saying that says if the review opens with talk about the
credits, it's not a very good movie.
There ya go.
So, OK, I didn't bother seeing Double Jeopardy right away because I
thought it looked horrible. And it opened number one, which I figured
was nothing spectacular, it'd drop like a stone the second week. But it
stayed number one for almost a month so I thought, heck, it must be
good, I'd better go see it.
The story of Double Jeopardy, if you care, is that Ashley Judd is framed
for her husband's murder, goes to prison, finds out her husband isn't
dead, vows revenge, gets out of prison and hunts him down to find her
son. All that, you get from the trailer or TV commercial.
And that's the entire story.
I'd hoped going in that there would be more. Maybe after she finds her
husband they start a Sumo-wrestling team or something. Or maybe her son
turns out to be Satan. I don't know, a plague of locusts. Anything.
But no. Once again, a movie trailer has given absolutely everything
away. Everything! There's a bit in the trailer from the final scene in
the movie! There is, literally, no need to see the movie, once you've
seen the trailer. I hate this. I'm angry.
Why couldn't they have saved something for the movie? How about this?
"She was framed for her husband's murder. Now her son's disappeared and
she's out of prison in a race to find him!" Exciting. Intriguing. And
leaves a very crucial plot twist (husband alive) in the dark.
People, we don't need to stand for this trailer madness! Write your
Congressman or Congresswoman today! You can even cut and paste the
Dear Honored and Hopefully Non-Corrupted Congressperson,
Please make the movie industry stop giving away the entire movie in the
I hate that.
Together we can make a change.
Anyway, about the movie itself. It's pretty lame. Even if you hadn't
seen the trailer, it's about as surprising as a football-shaped
Christmas present. Ashley Judd is pretty good, and so is Tommy Lee
Jones, but they're wasted in this really lame script. Really, really
lame. Ashley chases down her husband by making leaps of faith larger
than the hole that must be in the head of the screenwriter. The
characters she encounters are plastic and clip-art bland.
To be fair, there are a couple of almost-exciting moments. The coffin
scene is kinda creepy, and the sinking car bit, while done better in
countless movies, is still amusing.
But at the end, you're left wondering why you saw this movie, and
indeed, what movie you saw. E-Trade commercials stay with you longer.
This is kind of cookie-cutter movie that Hollywood spits out and
everyone wishes they'd try to do something better. But it's about to
make 100 million, so Hollywood has no plans of ever making a better
movie. Why bother? Just churn out Double Jeopardy 2: Triple Jeopardy.
Double Jeopardy gets 1 4/5 Babylons. Bad as it is, it isn't going to
actively suck your soul out of your eyeballs. Other movies have been
known to do that. Godzilla, for example.
Huh. The SMC obviously didn't know that Double Jeopardy was a remake of
an older film in the style of which we often still describe as "classic
film", where we actually forgive questionable loose ends in the plot in
favor of a charming and engaging less-then-3-explosions-per-act story.
Far be it from me to insert a little perspective into the SMC's analysis
of current movies.
Directed By: Bruce Beresford
Starring: Ashley Judd, Ashley Judd, Tommy Lee Jones, Tommy Lee Jones,
Bruce Greenwood, Bruce Greenwood and Vasily Kandinsky.