Plot: What’s it about?
Panned by critics as a cheap takeoff on “The Fugitive”, it would seem that Double Jeapordy had things going against it…but then opening weekend came and a few months later, this “takeoff” had earned over $100 million at the box office! The whole plot of the movie revolves around a little-known (well, not that little-known or else they wouldn’t have made a movie out of it) loophole in our judicial system known as Double Jeapordy. Quite simply the law states that a person cannot be tried and convicted of the same crime twice. Now that doesn’t mean that you can commit a robbery, serve your time and be free to rob anyone and everyone once you get out. The premise of Double Jeapordy specifies exactly what can and cannot be accomplished. What Double Jeapordy (the movie) shows us is that a woman named Libby Parsons (Ashley Judd) is convicted of killing her husband. Of course he’s not dead, but she gets tried and convicted of murdering her husband. Where this differs from “The Fugitive” is that Libby is not an escapee of prision, she serves her time legitamately. I don’t think I’m giving anything away by mentioning all of this, as it’s quite evident on the trailer to the movie, and I don’t know of a single person who hasn’t predicted the ending as well…but more on that later.
Libby seems to have it all, the perfect family, the perfect house, good community and neighbors…the whole shabang. We learn very quickly that her good fortune isn’t to last. Aboard a boat that the couple is staying on for the night, Libby awakes to find her robe and hands covered with blood. Through a dense fog, up comes the Coast Guard all within minutes of her discovering what in the world could have happened. As mentioned, she is tried, convicted and sentenced to prision, and she serves her time. By sheer accident, she discovers that her husband is indeed alive and living in San Fransisco with her best fried as his “wife”. Of course, there’s nothing she can do, all locked up, but she sets her sights on getting to the bottom of this mystery and a little payback as well. Getting some inside information from fellow inmate (and lawyer), she finds out about the “Double Jeapordy” standard. Upon her parole, she is released into a halfway house under the close, ever suspicious eye of Travis Lehman (Tommy Lee Jones). While it’s true that he essentially plays the same character as in “The Fugitive” and “U.S. Marshals”, Jones is such an intellegent actor that every role he plays seems to take on a life of it’s own.
By now, we know that the only thing on Libby’s mind is getting revenge and getting to see her son again. No matter what the cost. And it’s about this point in the movie where the “chase begins”. Fleeing from everyone, and finding solice in her mother, she heads off to San Fransisco to get to the bottom of the mystery. Finding out that her friend has come to an unfortunate death, her husband has since reloacted to New Orleans where he’s leading another life as a busy socialite. The only thing is that Travis is hot on her tail, and is not entirely convinced that her story about her husband is true. Nick (Bruce Greenwood), obviously shocked at seeing his wife again, can only try and flatter his way out the mess and as you can imagine…that’s when things get messy.
Double Jeapordy may be a “copy” of several other action films, but I found myself really liking this one. Tommy Lee Jones rarely delivers a bad performance and if nothing else…we get to look at Ashley Judd for two hours (never a bad thing). Give Double Jeapordy a try, though a bit predictable, it is a great action movie that has just enough suspense to keep you guessing.
Video: How does it look?
The 2.35:1 image is anamophically enhanced and looks great. Colors are bright and very, very vivid. There is almost a 3-D like quality to the image, it’s so clear. Black levels are right on target and fleshtones are very natural without the slightest bit of artifacting to be found. I could go on and on, but trust me when I say that this is one of the better transfers that I’ve seen on DVD.
Audio: How does it sound?
I’m proud to say that the audio is just as great as the video. Being a new (action) movie, it’s bound to have a great soundtrack and Double Jeapordy delivers all the punches. Dialogue is very clean and well-centered and the whole soundtrack has an ambiance that radiates from beginning to end. The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is very active as is the subwoofer, which is used quite often throughout the film. Again, I don’t know what else to say except this soundtrack rocks…literally!
Supplements: What are the extras?
Paramount is slowly adding more and more extras to their discs, while recent discs like “The General’s Daughter” and “Election” have included commentary tracks and deleted scenes, Double Jeapordy is treated to a Behind the scenes featurette. It’s always nice to have at least something extra on a disc and this suits the movie well. Of couse, it’s easy to be spoiled with all the extras that are on some discs, but put it this way…this disc could have been a lot worse.