Sunday, 4 October 2009

Double Jeopardy


There will never be a film about an insurance scam to match Double Indemnity, but the 1999 movie Double Jeopardy was, I discovered the other evening, an enjoyable time-passer. It stars Tommy Lee Jones at his edgiest, and the glamorous Ashley Judd. They are a rich couple who seem to have it all, but there are questions about the reliability of Tommy (surprise, surprise) and when they go off sailing, Ashley wakes to find a trail of blood, a sharp knife…and no husband.

Ashley, it turns out, was to benefit under her husband’s insurance policy, and she is arrested, though no body is found. She arranges for her beloved child to be adopted by her best friend, and is sent to prison. I have to say that it struck me as amazing that her guilt would be so easily established on pretty flimsy evidence. And the concept of ‘double jeopardy’, as explained in the film, doesn’t really stand up in the context of the facts of the story-line.

However, if you can overlook the plot holes (not everyone can, I realise) what follows is a pretty exciting action thriller. Ashley is determined to retrieve her child, and exact revenge, and stops at nothing to achieve her goals. Needless to say, she does one or two pretty stupid things which expose her to grave danger when she comes face to face with a ruthless killer. But that’s not too unusual in crime movies, is it?

I enjoyed this film. It is so well made that you can suspend your disbelief for a hundred minutes or so. Not a classic, but not bad, either.

7 comments:

annemarie said...

Dear Martin,
is it the same movie I watched? Have you really watched it? The issue here is not the movie, of course, but your reliability as a critic. :))

Martin Edwards said...

Hi Anne Marie - I take it you weren't impressed?! But when it comes to critical assessment, I guess it's usually a bit like asking five different people who watched the same football match what they thought of it. You tend to get five different opinions...

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I'll probably rent the movie just because I like Tommy Lee Jones. :) If you were able to suspend your disbelief enough to enjoy the film (and, I believe, you're an attorney), then it sounds like one I could watch and enjoy.

I might be a little troubled about the age different between Jones and Judd, though!

Elizabeth
Mystery Writing is Murder

Uriah Robinson said...

Martin, in this movie Tommy Lee Jones plays the parole officer and not the husband.

The double jeopardy in this case is entirely different from the insurance scam film, with Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck and Edward G. Robinson.

In case you pop over to my blog opinions expressed by interviewees about lawyers are not necessarily held by the interviewer. ;0)

Martin Edwards said...

Thanks, Uriah. Mea culpa as the lawyers don't say often enough!!

Margot Kinberg said...

Martin,
Like Elizabeth, I like Tommy Lee Jones; he's really quite good when he's "on his game," (The Fugitive, for instance). I have to admit, though, that for me, a suspense thriller works best for me if I don't have to suspend my disbelief. I especially feel that way about thrillers with a lot of action. The action needs to support a really believable plot. Still, as I say, I like Jones; I may give this one a try...

Martin Edwards said...

Thanks, Margot. I really liked The Fugitive too. This one is not a masterpiece, I admit, but I found it a decent time-passer after a weary day.