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Emmys 2017
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Double Jeopardy

Posted on

Ashley Judd, Tommy Lee Jones, ...

Double Jeopardy

Current Status:
In Season
105 minutes
Tommy Lee Jones, Ashley Judd
Bruce Beresford
Paramount Home Video
Drama, Mystery and Thriller

We gave it a B

Awww, you’re all snobs.

All you biscotti munching cineasts who scoffed at Double Jeopardy because it didn’t stop to make sense on the way to the bank. You’re ticked because the thing bears no discernible relation to any reality that exists outside of the movies.

Because Ashley Judd leaves prison looking as if she’s spent time at an institutional spa. Because the very premise of the film is bogus (ladies, please understand: If, after being framed for the supposed murder of your husband, you finally catch up with the rat bastard and plug him, it’s considered ”a different crime). And you’re really annoyed at the biggest offense of all: that ”Double Jeopardy” was popular.

Get over it. The reason the film was a hit has nothing to do with believability (unlike, say, that triumph of documentary realism, ”Being John Malkovich) and everything to do with the tawdry emotional honesty of classic B-movie melodramas. Which is to say that if ”Double Jeopardy had been shot in black and white in 1949 with Ida Lupino in the lead, you’d all be praising it as an unsung feminist film noir and deconstructing it on your grad-school website.

”Double Jeopardy” is great, compelling corn — the anxious daydream you might have after gorging on cheap paperbacks at the beach. And Judd, to her credit, never plays it for camp. Instead, she arches her eyebrows and slugs her way through this pulp with the blinkered conviction of, say, Lana Turner in her prime.

If it makes you feel better, you can always turn the color way down and pretend she IS Lana Turner. The rest of us will hold the biscotti and handle ”Double Jeopardy as is.