Double Jeopardy (1999) Film Review

Rating 15
Length 1h45
Release 28.1.2000
Director Bruce Bereford
About A woman arrested for her husband’s murder is sentenced to six years imprisonment. After her release, she sets out to find her son and the truth about the murder as she suspects foul play.
Moon: no moon sighting
Where to Watch: Netflix

The Good

  • I’ve seen the trailer for this film about a million times, so to say that this film surprised me was a bit of an understatement. I’ve always thought that Tommy Lee Jones was the husband and the ferry car crash was how he ‘died’. There’s just something quite nice about being thrown off from the get go.
  • I really like Ashley Judd in this. Judd makes for a really sympathetic and strong leading lady.
  • Bruce Greenwood. He improves literally anything he’s in and I really do like that I’ve now seen him play a nasty role. He wears it well.

The Bad

  • The evolution of time isn’t very well structured. I know we get the cake, but I think I’d have liked a little more. Even something simple as removing the highlights from her hair.
  • I don’t get why there’s the insistence that her boy, Matty, doesn’t go to her parents when it’s the first person she goes to when she flees custody.
  • There’s a few other plot holes that I can’t think of right now, but because it’s not as fast paced as similar thrillers, they’re a little more obvious.

The Ugly

  • How laws work. The whole premise hangs on a law that the film interprets wrongly. Like, its a glaring flaw. There’s also this idea that her child is kidnapped. Yes, she’s given custody over, but is it not a little suspect?
  • This suffers with a similar fate at What Lies Beneath in the respect that the trailer and blurb reveal the ‘faked death’, while the film plays it as a reveal. It makes that opening scene heavy and hard work. In a film that’s not got much time to play with, it really didn’t need to spend that long building up to the ‘crime’. I guess there’s an attempt here to not be The Fugitive. However, the result is that the film loses some of its suspense. Netflix doesn’t help matters by having the reveal scene as it’s preview.

Final Thoughts

An enjoyable, if not heavily flawed, entry into the crime thriller that was popular in the 90s. It’s something I’d love to see a return of. Perhaps without the need to ignore the blatant plot holes.

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