Double Jeopardy

Rated: R
Runtime: 1 Hour and 45 Minutes

Reviewer: Dale
Grade: C+

First and foremost, I must warn you: this is a dumb movie. Its situations are pretty boneheaded. Some of the things the characters do during the course of this movie would disqualify them for the operation of even plastic utensils. Very little of this movie holds up even under half-assed scrutiny.

Yet, it's all somehow entertaining, and I think that is due directly to the actors involved.

"Double Jeopardy" is the story of a woman triumphing over evil or witless men. (Well, it is). All the men are either incompetent or downright scum. Starting with Ashley's husband, a callous and heartless SOB who fakes his death and makes sure that Ashley is framed for it. Ashley is then sent to one of the nicest prisons I have ever seen. Nobody in the prison likes her, they tell her so, but aside from telling her that they don't like her, they don't really do anything to her. They don't even put her hand in warm water while she sleeps. I've seen more vicious summer camps in movies. In fact, the prison is sorta like a summer camp. The women all make baked goods, sleep in cots and make lots of phone calls. When she gets paroled, she tracks down her husband because one of the women in the prison told her that, if you are accused of killing your husband and he isn't dead, you really can kill him. Now, I am not entirely sure, but I don't think that was what our founding fathers had in mind when they designed the constitution.

Or maybe they did.

JEFFERSON: What if this chick's husband fakes his death and pins it on the chick?

WASHINGTON: Is this chick hot?


WASHINGTON: Then she can pop him.



JEFFERSON: Alright, I'll put that in there.

Sorry, easily sidetracked there.

Anyway, once she is out of prison, Ashley commences tracking the evil husband down. This is where things get even shakier than they were. It takes Ashley a whole three days to track the bastard down. If it were that easy, don't you think the cops would have figured this out by now? I mean, come on!!!

I wouldn't dare give away the rest of the movie for you, but if you have seen any movies like this, then you probably know what will happen anyway. During this film, I half-expected Ashley to say to Tommy Lee: "I didn't kill my husband!", to which Tommy would, no doubt, respond: "I don't care!"

So why am I still rating it so highly? Because it still entertains, thanks in no small part to Ashley Judd's performance. She believes so totally in this character and invests so totally in the situation, that it is difficult for us in the audience not to do the same. Not to mention Tommy Lee Jones. By now, he could play this sort of character in his sleep. In fact, he probably has. He's the master at playing men tracking innocent and plucky fugitives.

There is a lot of fun to be had while watching this movie, however. Some of it is suspenseful, mainly because we grow to like poor, besotted Ashley and we want to see her come through in the end. In fact, we'd enjoy it even more if our pesky brains didn't get in the way.

Which reminds me of another bit of unbelievable business about this film: If you were married
to someone who looked like Ashley Judd, would you get rid of her, even if there was two million dollars in it for you?

I didn't think so either.

Reviewer: Erik
Grade: B-

Okay, let's get this out of the way...

This movie is not Oscar-material. It's not factually-correct. It has a lot of plot holes and a lot of dumb mistakes in it. Chances are, you WILL say, "Gimme a break!" or "I don't believe it!" or "This is the goofiest thing I've ever seen!"

On the other hand, I found the movie to be somewhat entertaining. Call me hokey if you must.

Yes, the plotline is given away in the previews. Libby Parsons (Ashley Judd) has what she thinks is the perfect marriage to Nick Parsons (Bruce Greenwood). While on a romantic sailboat getaway, Libby awakes to a bloody mess and a missing husband, and is soon arrested for his murder.

She's convicted and gets a friend to take custody of her child. Libby loses touch with her son, finally finds him and finds out that her husband fixed the whole thing and is still alive. She plans her revenge with "double jeopardy" in mind, meaning she can kill him and get away with it because you can't be convicted of the same crime twice.

Yes, it's not EXACTLY the meaning of "double jeopardy", but I suppose they needed something to go with. Libby finally gets out of jail, and lives in an apartment complex run by Travis Lehman (Tommy Lee Jones), a gruff parole officer.

Libby will throw any ideas of a straight life out the window as she violates her parole in an effort to find her son. She'll be caught, escape, continue following leads, the whole time with Lehman on her tail. She'll travel from coast to coast in search of her son.

Plot holes? You still got that 18-wheeler? Drive it on through! They're too numerous to discuss. I particularly liked when Nick thinks he's disposed of his wife, but anybody with half a brain knows he could have done a better job.

But...I must be fair. I was entertained pretty much the whole way through. The premise of the movie (although inaccurate) was enough to at least hold the movie together. I particularly liked how Libby confronted her husband at a dinner function.

This one gets a marginal recommendation from me. It wasn't superb by any means, but at least it kept my interest.