What happens when Fugitive star Tommy Lee Jones and strong beauty Ashley Judd are put together? The answer is Double Jeopardy, a film that is anything but factual, but still manages to maintain a decent level of entertainment.
Judd is a loving mom and wife who is accused of killing her husband after she is found on a boat covered in his blood and holding the murder knife (thank God this isn't a horror movie because the characters make just about every mistake possible that you can think of). She is sentenced to eight years in prison, but, during the duration of her "visit," she learns that her son's guardian has skipped town and that her husband is still alive (personally, I would have withheld this information from the theatrical trailers, just for the sake of good movie twists. Yes, it might have made it a little harder to explain the title without notifying the audience that the husband would end up being the bad guy, but oh well). One of her inmate friends tell her that, since she has already been convicted of killing him, she can't get convicted again - meaning that she can go and shoot him in front of a thousand people and she can't get prison time for it. This is where the facts get scrambled. I know the constitution says that someone cannot be tried for the same crime twice, but I'm sure it wouldn't work this way. In fact, the whole movie is filled with flaws that just happen to benefit the main characters. Tommy Lee Jones leaves her in his car with the keys still in the ignition, even though she just skipped town and tried to elude police. She conveniently is able to track her husband across the country by deceiving a bunch of people into giving away addresses and phone numbers. Also, especially to Judd's liking, the police seem not to care that a convicted murderer is trying to go after her supposedly dead husband.
Facts aside, Double Jeopardy does serve up some good excitement, even though it is not an action movie. There are some scenes but none amount to much of anything (not like they could, since neither she nor Jones is an action hero). The beach chase is pretty good and the scene where Judd knocks the red car in to the water is hilarious. On the other hand, there were a lot of areas where I just am not satisfied. I liked how she finally revealed her presence to her husband in front of hundreds of people, but she did not make a spectacle out of it (like in The Fugitive) like she should have, considering that she had spent six years in jail because he was running a scam. Furthermore, throughout the movie, Judd seems guilty, because she never really shows that she is upset about anything. Sure, there are some tears shed here and there, but Elizabeth Parsons is definitely not the best character I have seen out of Judd. The ending (as shown in the theatrical trailers, along with the rest of the movie) is not that bad, but it still does not seem like a suitable confrontation between the good and the bad.
Double Jeopardy is not a bad movie but it basically could be better in every conceivable way.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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