"Double Jeopardy"óIs it more than meets the eye?

Stars: Ashley Judd, Tommy Lee Jones, Bruce Greenwood

105 minutes

Rated  R

Paramount 1999

[FEB. 28, 2000]  Libby (Ashley Judd) and Nick Parsons (Bruce Greenwood) appear to be deeply in love and living the idyllic married life with their beautiful 6-year-old son. But I saw the previews. It was too good to be true. Wouldnít it be great if Hollywood would produce a movie showing how wonderful and exciting lifelong fidelity can be?

Perhaps we ought to send Hollywood a message: "Donít give away so much of the plot in the title and the previews!" I had the feeling that I knew the whole pathetic plot before I watched the movieóand I almost didnít pick up "Double Jeopardy" for that very reason. But the question begs to be asked: Do they preview so much of this film so that you donít come away from this movie saying, "Well, that one was entirely predictable!"

After I watched the flick from start to finish, I felt as though it contained some very fresh material, and I was glad I had picked it up.

The story goes like this: Nick Parsons was in deep financial trouble and was about to lose everything. Nick appears to get mysteriously killed and Libby, his beautiful, adored wife, is set up and framed for his death. But he is of course, not dead! She is, however, convicted and goes to prison where she serves a six-year term. While she is in prison, he resurfaces with a new name and living very comfortably with another life, another wife and, oh yes, the two million dollars he got from the life insurance company.

 

 

Libby adapted and learned plenty in prison, including the truth that Nick was still alive. One day a newfound friend, who just happened to be a disbarred lawyer, told her of the constitutional amendment called "Double Jeopardy," explaining that she could kill her husband for real this time and walk away from it without further interference from the law.

 

What do you know, Libby gets out of prison, and while she is in the care of her parole officer Travis (Tommy Lee Jones), she tracks down her husband and tries to get her son back. But this is where the introduction and the previews leave off. The real question is, does she kill Nick or does she let him go? You gotta watch the movie to find out.

I thought this movie would be one-dimensional and easily revealed, but I was pleasantly surprised at the plot, the acting, the location and some other clever nuances. Ashley Judd was wonderfully convincing; Bruce Greenwood was devious and evil; and hard-bitten Tommy Lee Jones played the perfect "winning-loser."

I give it three solid stars out of five.

 

[midge]

 

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