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Laramie Movie Scope:
Double Jeopardy

A nearly satisfying revenge film

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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September 26, 1999 -- "Double Jeopardy" is an almost satisfying revenge film that uses a few too many clichés and doesn't show much heart, either.

Ordinarily, the presence of Ashley Judd ("Simon Birch" and "Kiss the Girls") almost guarantees a good film. She's a very good actress with an eye for good scripts, but this script needed some work. Judd stars as Elizabeth Parsons, the woman done wrong by her husband, mean old Nick Parsons (Bruce Greenwood of "The Sweet Hereafter").

Nick fakes his own murder and then frames Elizabeth for it in order to collect insurance money. Elizabeth is convicted and Nick makes a smooth getaway with his son, Matty (Spencer Treat Clark) and one of Elizabeth's friends. Elizabeth's mission impossible task is to get out of prison somehow and get her son back somehow.

One of the hurdles Elizabeth must get over is her strict, alcoholic, parole officer, Tommy Lee Jones ("U.S. Marshals") who isn't about to let her go after her son. She, of course, does anyway, showing great determination and ingenuity.

The plot isn't too bad until one too many clichés get thrown in. This is the one where the hero is cornered by the bad guy, who, instead of killing him, puts him into a trap, from which he can easily escape, so the hero can come back and defeat the bad guy after all. It was simply too stupid to believe this time and it was really unnecessary.

Another problem I had with the film was the relatively flat performances of Parsons and Judd. Judd didn't show much emotional range, especially in places where she should have shown some self doubt, and Parsons' performance was completely flat. Tommy Lee Jones gave an excellent performance, however. The movie has good stunt work and some good location shots. It doesn't quite make the grade as a revenge movie, however. It rates a C-.

Click here for links to places to buy this movie in video and/or DVD format, the soundtrack, books, even used videos, games and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 1999 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]