Review: “Double Jeopardy”

As a TV movie this would be a very enjoyable way to spend an evening. As a feature film however, “Double Jeopardy” falls into the realm that Hollywood is so favorable of these days – conventionality.

This may have well been called “The Fugitive”-lite with it matching that film’s plot by about 80%, yet is only half as thrilling. Judd is best known for her roles as strongly independent women. Once again she takes that part here, yet despite that the character is not really distinctive at all – and attempts to develop it with ’emotional parenting’ scenes are pretty cut and dry.

The times it does work are when she turns into her ‘vixen out for revenge’ mode – she’d be a great female villainess if given the opportunity. Even blander though is Tommy Lee Jones in a parole officer role pretty much anyone could’ve played. The relationship between the two has a nice tension at first but the way it ends up being resolved could’ve been better.

The rest of the supporting cast are forgettable, though Roma Mafia again gives us another solid supporting character (she’s like a female Oliver Platt) – this time its as a fellow inmate. Still, while the characters may be bland, what keeps this going is the concept behind it which is basically the ultimate revenge fantasy – to be allowed to kill someone who made your life hell and get away with it completely (and like Mafia says “It does make you fell warm and fuzzy all over”).

Now while the concept makes a great movie, one doubts it would cross over into real life (then again she is intent on killing a man who is declared dead by her hand, how could she be charged for killing someone she has already killed and whom the world considers dead anyway?). The legalities of this film are questionable so for now I’d put that revolver away if I were you.

The skilled hand of Bruce Beresford behind the camera allows the action to unfold at a steady and reasonably fast pace, and while none of the sequences are particularly memorable (unlike “The Fugitive” with its train wreck and dam jump), they’re still quite fun to watch and you can’t help but root for Judd and her goals. Bottom line, is it worth checking out? If you’re a fan of either star and like the look of the ads then you’ll enjoy it. If not, its certainly worth a video rental.