Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: Ashley Judd, Tommy Lee Jones, Bruce Greenwood, Annabeth Gish
Written by: David Weisberg, Douglas Cook
Directed by: Bruce Beresford
MPAA Rating: R for language, a scene of sexuality and some violence
Running Time: 105
Date: 09/21/1999
IMDB

Double Jeopardy (1999)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Saving Chase

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

First let me say that Double Jeopardy is full of holes. Lots of them. I won't even go into how and where. The screenwriters David Weisberg and Douglas Cook (The Rock) took a pretty decent idea, threw in a couple of good set pieces, and let the rest go all over the place. And yet the movie works. What makes it work is the performances by Ashley Judd and Tommy Lee Jones, and, to some extent, the direction by Bruce Beresford. Beresford is an Australian who hit it big in the US with Breaker Morant in 1980. From there, he's directed a few acclaimed films (Tender Mercies, Driving Miss Daisy, Black Robe) and some not-so-acclaimed (King David, Her Alibi, Last Dance). He's a reliable studio director whose job it is to put all the pieces into place without any kind of artistic or personal stamp, like a modern day William Wyler. Beresford shoots a few good scenes -- those on the ferry boat and in the cemetery are particularly engaging -- and he is skilled with actors. The film also makes great use of many real locations, such as the Rockies and New Orleans. But, if Double Jeopardy had had a Brian De Palma at the helm giving it a shot of Hitchcock energy, it could have really taken off. Still, Judd is extremely attractive and energetic, and we buy her as a fugitive on the run. And Tommy Lee Jones all but reprises his role from The Fugitive (1993) and U.S. Marshals (1998), but still to great effect. His fierce energy, shaggy face, and pointed eyes make him a worthy adversary for any heroine on the run. All in all, this is a decent light entertainment worth the price of admission.

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