The Fugitive Continued - A review of "Double Jeopardy"
Similarities between this film and "The Fugitive" abound, yet it's still a compelling action film.
Okay, the comparison is an obvious one...woman is accused of a crime she didn't commit, runs from the law, Tommy Lee Jones must find her. Does this mean that you're watching "The Fugitive all over again? Hardly...
"The Fugitive" was a riveting picture that kept you clinging to the edge of your seat every minute of the viewing. "Double Jeopardy" on the other hand is formulaic and predictable.
The plot of the movie is simplistic. Ashley Judd plays a woman accused of murdering her husband. She is sent to prison, only to find out that hubby is still alive and has absconded with his wife's best friend and Judd's son to live in parts unknown. After seven years in prison, Judd is paroled and sent to live in a halfway house, overseen by a boozing, cynical watchdog, played by the familiar face of Tommy Lee Jones.
The writers of "Double Jeopardy" have no qualms about telling you what to expect, and as long as you don't mind a healthy dose of emotionalism along the way, you won't mind getting there. Judd is a competent actress not to mention easy on the eyes. And Jones revisits a character that he's played several times before...a lawman with a different name and a different wordly take, but the same over-ambitious sense of righteous justice.
If the movie has one flaw, it would have to be it's predictability. But it's greatest strength lies in it's ability to tell an interesting and captivating story in spite of telling you it's ending 30 minutes into the film.
Whether or not you believe the premise that a person convicted of a crime cannot be charged again with the same crime even if the original crime didn't happen, this film provides the compelling argument that said outcome is probably legitimate. I wouldn't, however, recommend trying this out for real just to confirm the accuracy of the idea...or lack thereof.
This film is nothing short of esciting, yet unlike "The Fugitive", this is not a particularly original or inventive script. Also, Bruce Greenwood, as good an actor as he is, is not a compelling villain.
I recommend enjoying this movie for what it is - a 90 minute ride into familiar territory yet with no commitment to further speculation into the veracity of an otherwise by-the-numbers adventure.
I give "Double Jeopardy" 2-1/2 out of 5 stars.
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