This ludicrously overwrought TV movie purports to tell the story of Barry Seal, a real-life drug runner-turned- government informant who was rubbed out in 1986. Seal was a pilot who transported drugs for the highest bidder; according to this account, he didn’t much care whether he was working for the Medellin drug cartel or as an undercover agent for the DEA. He was bold and led a colorful life, doing his best to elude both the law and outlaws, but one big problem with Doublecrossed is that the movie can’t get around the fact that its hero is basically a weasel.

Dennis Hopper stars as Seal, and the teleplay by director Roger Young requires the actor to smile broadly while uttering such daredevil proclamations as ”I just play things as they come along — make it up as I go” and ”If you don’t take a chance, you don’t get the fun.” These boasts are as empty as the shrill bluegrass music on the soundtrack, which urges us to think of Seal’s story as a wacky lark.

As is often the case when a script doesn’t give him much help, Hopper tries to liven up his character by going overboard, giggling maniacally in scenes that don’t call for laughter and exaggerating Seal’s Southern accent until he sounds like Gomer Pyle. ”I’m a very funny guy,” he says at one point; not this time around, Dennis. D

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