How many times can you kill one person? According to the U.S. Constitution’s Fifth Amendment only once, but in Double Jeopardy (Paramount Pictures), Libby Parsons pushes the idea of the Fifth Amendment to its limit.
Libby (Ashley Judd, Kiss the Girls) is coerced by her husband Nick (Bruce Greenwood, Passenger 57) into going on a romantic boat ride for a couple of days. During the night, Libby wakes up to find her hands and nightgown drenched in blood. More importantly, her husband is nowhere in sight. She is framed for her husband’s murder and sent to prison. Although she is convicted falsely, she is forced to give up her son and spends six years in prison.
In prison, she finds out shocking information about her supposedly dead husband. When another cellmate informs Libby about double jeopardy, she resolves to get out of jail and test the law. Set free on conditional parole, Libby is determined to reclaim her son and solve the mystery that destroyed her once-perfect life. However, her parole officer, Travis Lehman (Tommy Lee Jones, Men In Black), stands between her and her mission.
Despite not playing many leading roles in her career, Judd gives a powerful performance. She gets the audience helplessly involved in her mission to track down her husband and to gain revenge. Judd’s performance in Double Jeopardy will make her one of the hottest stars in Hollywood.
As for Oscar-winner Jones, he has the part of the law official down cold, having played the roll in The Fugitive, U.S. Marshals and The Client,/i>. Jones’ character is also plagued by family problems, which allow him to connect with Libby and create a struggle against his superiors and coworkers.
Double Jeopardy does supply decent acting, but the script could have been written more like the action thriller it tries to be. As Libby’s search for her son and husband progresses, the movie tends to drag. Although this allows the audience to sympathize more with Libby as she plans her revenge, Director Bruce Beresford could have entertained the audience with more detail. Key events, such as Libby’s trial and her six-year stint in prison, seem to pass in minutes. Also, Jones’ character needs further exploration to make his out-of-the-ordinary connection with Libby clear and more meaningful.
Double Jeopardy is a film filled with lightweight action and a talented cast. Movie-goers should not expect a gripping thriller from Double Jeopardy, but it is, for the most part, an entertaining film.
Double Jeopardy opens Friday.