johnlink ranks DOUBLE JEOPARDY (1999)

I have HBO, but never watch the actual channels live. Most everything is either off the DVR or On-Demand (with the exception of the live airings of Game of Thrones). I can honestly count on one hand the number of times  I have watched a movie that has started at the exact time I was sitting down. DOUBLE JEOPARDY raised that number by one.


I watched DOUBLE JEOPARDY (1999) on 11.3.15. It was my second viewing of the film and first in probably fifteen years.

By the 90s, the days of B-movies were long gone as the double feature had been mostly deceased for decades. But the spirit of the B-movie was alive in the form of disposable thrillers. While this genre of movie mostly moved to television by the early 21st century, the 90s were inundated with thrillers that used the formula of casting a couple of stars and counting on their popularity.

DOUBLE JEOPARDY has almost no sense of realism whatsoever. The story has Libby (Ashley Judd) accused of murdering your husband (Bruce Greenwood). Only she didn’t murder him. So she sits in jail for six years (just SIX YEARS FOR MURDER!), and then gets out knowing she can kill him again due to the law that you can’t be convicted twice of the same crime. Never mind the fact that this particular legal loophole could be gotten around by first year grad students at your own peril. And there is no shame in spoiling this twist that takes thirty minutes to develop, because the movie gives itself away in the title.

Anyway, out of prison, Libby has to go to a halfway house run by parole officer Travis (Tommy Lee Jones). Libby follows the rules for all of forty seconds before breaking into a childcare facility and running off in the least subtle way imaginable. So she leads Travis on a cross-country mission to find her husband and her son. She wants her son back, though there is no sense of how she will have a chance to live any kind of life with her son once she gets him.

All kinds of absurd action hi jinx happen along the way. Among them, Libby runs from two cops on a beach and makes their jeep flip over, Libby drives a car off of a ferry, Libby gets lost in a crowd of people in New Orleans during which someone wearing the same outfit and with the same red umbrella gets mistaken for her, Libby drives her truck over Travis’ car so hard that it flips over, and Libby confronts her lying husband. There are more, but they are forgettable enough after a day.

Really, though, despite the brutal script powering DOUBLE JEOPARDY, this is an easily watchable movie. Judd is pretty good, Tommy Lee Jones basically reprises the role he played in the FUGITIVE films with a very slight twist, and the movie never stops to look around long enough to slow the action proceedings. It’s a minor, fun movie, even if it is really a minor, dumb movie.




FINAL SCORE: 4.75 out of 10

~ by johnlink00 on November 4, 2015.

One Response to “johnlink ranks DOUBLE JEOPARDY (1999)”

  1. Just recently saw this and thought it was stupid. However, I did like Judd here and I felt like she gave a good performance in an otherwise, shitty movie. Nice review John.

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