Double Jeopardy

Memphis Flyer

DIRECTED BY: Bruce Beresford

REVIEWED: 10-04-99

The filmmakers of Double Jeopardy were so busy dotting the i's and crossing the t's that they forgot what this movie was supposed to be: a thriller. What it is instead is a series of establishment shots, with nary a moment to make the heart race -- might as well call it a flatliner.

While most movies are bad, this one doesn't necessarily need be. On Double Jeopardy's roster is director Bruce Beresford (Driving Miss Daisy, Crimes of the Heart), screenwriters David Weisberg and Douglas S. Cook (The Rock), and actors Tommy Lee Jones and Ashley Judd. And the premise isn't half-bad: Libby (Judd) is sent to prison for killing her husband, only to learn that he's alive and living with their son and her best friend. A fellow inmate tells her about the double-jeopardy clause in the Constitution. Since she can't be convicted of the same crime twice, she can really kill her husband and not face another prison term. She gets out and goes to a halfway house run by probation officer Travis Lehman (Jones). She says she'll keep her nose clean, though she's already plotting to get to her husband.

Unfortunately, there's not enough of Libby going to kill her husband. Rather, we're treated to the stages of Libby. Stage One: the rich, happily married, and beautifully groomed Libby (to show that she can handle herself at a gala). Stage Two: the buff prison Libby, first abused and then holding her own (to show that she can take it as well as dish it out), complete with long hair to denote the passing of time. Stage Three: the free-at-last Libby, a combination of the first two stages (to show that she'll use all of her past experiences to get what she wants). Couple this with a few lingering shots of musicians in New Orleans (for that authentic feel), throw in a sliver of The Fugitive, and tack on a truly ill-conceived ending, and you've got Double Jeopardy.

It's not much to look at.

--Susan Ellis

Full Length Reviews
Double Jeopardy

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Double Jeopardy
Double Jeopardy

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