..

DOUBLE TAKE

doubletake.mzzzzzzz (6817 bytes)

Review by Gordon Justesen

Stars: Eddie Griffin, Orlando Jones, Edward Herrmann, Gary Grubbs, Garcelle Beauvais
Director: George Gallo
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1 Surround
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1
Studio: Touchstone
Features: See Review
Length: 88 Minutes
Release Date: July 17, 2001

Film ***

Double Take is a movie that I am in the mix on, but for the most part I enjoyed very much. It is no cinematic masterpiece in terms of thought provoking entertainment, but it is very energetic, hugely funny, and does have something of a plot to it. As generic as the title may sound, it fits the movie very well, because there’s hardly a scene in the film in which nothing turns out to be what it seems. Even if you don’t buy the countless twists in the movie, and I can’t say that I did, there are still plentiful funny moments to spare, lightened by two rising comic talents, Eddie Griffin, fresh from his hysterical supporting work in Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, and the 7-UP spokesman himself, Orlando Jones, who has evolved into a superbly talented comedic actor.

Jones plays Daryl Chase, a successful Wall Street broker whose life begins to take a serious turn for the bizarre and complicated when he realizes a possible error in the account of his most prestigious client. To make matters worse, Daryl finds himself on the run from the cops and the FBI after he is been wrongly convicted of killing two cops. A reliable FBI agent advises him to get to Mexico fast. What can Daryl do to protect himself? There’s local street hustler Freddy Tiffany (Griffin), who seems to be at Daryl’s every move, and has already succeeded in conning him out of money. Out of desperation, Daryl asks for Freddy’s help in getting to Mexico un-noticed. The two then switch clothes and identities at a train station, making Freddy looking like the rich businessman, and Daryl like a hustling thug. The funniest scenes involve Daryl trying to act ghetto, such as when first appearing in the train station his new outfit, and shouting out phrases like, “What it is, jive turkey?!”.

The rest of the movie consists of whether or not Daryl can trust those around him, especially Freddy, as it is alleged that he is a former agent turned psychotic con artist. The other numerous characters surrounding Daryl, such as the FBI agents who are trying to protect him, and the people at Daryl’s stock broking firm, appear to be suspiciously shady as well, and up until the very end of the movie is it made clear on which side everyone is on, other than Daryl, who is obviously the hero.

I’ve come to the conclusion that Double Take has to be enjoyed for simply what it is. It’s a street-smart action comedy much in the tradition of 48 Hrs, Rush Hour, and most notably Midnight Run, which was written by this movie’s writer/director, George Gallo. Eddie Griffin and Orlando Jones induce some terrific comic byplay. Jones especially shines in his role of the un-suspecting, wrongly convicted businessman on the run. Jones, who also delivered some scene-stealing work in Bedazzled, The Replacements, and most recently in Evolution, shows sign of becoming a big time leading comedic actor, and I hope he does.

Video ****

The people at Touchstone have really been on a roll this year. On the heels of their outstanding transfers for Unbreakable and O Brother, Where Art Thou?, and now this fantastic anamorphic transfer for Double Take, Touchstone could go on to become one of the top DVD producing studios of this year when it comes time for those prestigious DMC Awards. This transfer is as sharp as can be, thoroughly crisp and totally clear, and avoided of any color bleeding or image flaw.

Audio ****

A fast paced movie such as Double Take pretty much means a fierce audio transfer is par for the course. The 5.1 Dolby Digital presentation boasts a sharp sounding soundtrack to a movie that very much merits it. Action sequences are handled extremely well, as is the music in the movie, as well. A DTS track is included as well.

Features ****

A well packaged disc, indeed! Included are two documentaries; A Director’s Diary, with director George Gallo’s personal video diary of the movie making process leading all the way to the movie’s premiere party, and a Clues Companion, which highlights scenes in which clues to the twists in Double Take are revealed. Also featured is a running commentary from director George Gallo and editor Malcolm Campbell, several deleted and extended scenes, storyboard comparisons, and trailers for this film, and three other releases, Unbreakable, Bounce, and O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Summary:

A guilty pleaser and a fun-filled movie to say the least, Double Take is sure to make for 90 minutes worth of harmless, hysterical entertainment, even though it might take a Double viewing to fully understand the plot.