A woman framed for her husband's murder suspects he is still alive; as she has already been tried for the crime, she can't be re-prosecuted if she finds and kills him.A woman framed for her husband's murder suspects he is still alive; as she has already been tried for the crime, she can't be re-prosecuted if she finds and kills him.A woman framed for her husband's murder suspects he is still alive; as she has already been tried for the crime, she can't be re-prosecuted if she finds and kills him.
This trite revenge melodrama is, otherwise, a fairly mediocre piece of pop culture trash, short on solid character development and long on credibility-defying illogic. Judd plays the wife of a multimillionaire businessman who is framed for the murder of her husband (an ersatz murder, by the way, whose logistics are never explained either to Judd or to the audience), spends six years behind bars and then, when released, goes in search of not only the husband she now knows is alive and well but the son whom she has not seen in all that time. Tommy Lee Jones co-stars as her parole officer who, at first, attempts to inhibit her search then, becoming convinced of her truthfulness, joins her in her effort to exact proper revenge.
The film sets up its framework on a very shaky premise. We are expected to believe, idiotically, that Judd is free to murder her husband for real this time with full impunity, covered by the double jeopardy legal argument that one cannot be tried twice for the same crime. Any film that believes its audience is that gullible is unlikely to win over too many converts. Similarly, are we really to swallow the fact that a man as professional as Jones' parole officer appears to be would leave the keys in the ignition while his prisoner sits in the car handcuffed to the door handle while he goes looking for a cup of coffee? And would a man who has managed to eliminate two wives so successfully and establish himself as a pillar of the community under several different aliases allow himself to be fooled so easily into confessing his crime into a concealed tape recorder? Such lapses in logic permeate this entire film.
The movie does deserve credit for keeping the Judd/Jones relationship a strictly platonic one, thereby avoiding the romantic cliches that could truly overwhelm the proceedings. And Jones nicely underplays a role that, in other directorial hands, might have lent itself to hyperbole and bombast.
All told, however, I'm afraid that one's enjoyment of "Double Jeopardy" is predicated mostly on how willing one is to suspend critical judgment and go with the facts as they are presented. Unfortunately, the film is not tightly edited or suspenseful enough to allow the audience to ride over all these crests of incredibility. The result is a watchable, but neither compelling nor memorable, piece of pulp fiction tripe.
- Feb 25, 2000