Mark Reviews Movies

DOUBLE TAKE

1 Star (out of 4)

Director: George Gallo

Cast: Orlando Jones, Eddie Griffin, Gary Grubbs, Daniel Roebuck, Sterling Macer Jr.,  Benny Nieves, Garcelle Beauvais, Edward Herrmann

MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for violence and language)

Running Time: 1:28

Release Date: 1/12/01


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Review by Mark Dujsik

Iím sure writer/director George Gallo intended Double Take to play like a con game to the audience. Of course, what he obviously forgot is that when a person is conned, they usually are upset by it. Itís not a pleasant experience. Double Take is the inevitable result of movies like The Usual Suspects, The Sixth Sense, or the countless other movies with twists. This is a movie where in each new scene at least one character appears to have changed sides. In a situation like this, nobody wins. The characters and actors are simply tools of the script, and the story itself walks the thin line between complicated and incoherent. It ends up the latter, but itís all pretty complicated in its own simple way.

Daryl Chase (Orlando Jones) is a stock broker who has just made a deal with Don Carlos Cola for over $106 million more than what was originally intended. Later at a party for the deal, Daryl learns that the company doesnít exist. Soon he and his girlfriend are threatened at their home, and the CIA arrives just in time to save them. Daryl learns that the company is simply a cover for a drug trafficking operation. Soon, his secretary is dead and Daryl ends up a suspect. After speaking with an agent, Daryl is advised to go to Mexico.

Beforehand, Daryl has run into Freddy Tiffany (Eddie Griffin) on more than one occasion, and it seems that each time they meet, Daryl ends up scammed. Who is Freddy? Who does he work for? Is he helping Daryl or setting him up? These are all questions anyone following the plot will ask. But the plot itself is essentially impossible to follow. Each scene offers a new twist, each more frustrating than the last. Characters switch sides (or at least appear to switch sides) at random for the simple effect of fooling the audience. Even when it seems the entire set-up is resolved, the movie keeps throwing in more suspicion, more twists. Then when the entire story is complete, there are still more twists.

I gave up on the plot right when Daryl and Freddy get off the train to Mexico. Not thatís itís important to follow the plot, but Iím sure anyone giving the movie a chance will see how far they can get. Whatís important to note, though, is that the plot itself is simple. The twists are simply thrown in to make it seem complex. That makes it even more frustrating.

Somehow while trying to follow the story, I was able to take note of some other things. Jones and Griffin are a standard straightman/funnyman combination. Nothing they do is particularly memorable, and at times, Griffinís antics get annoying. There is an odd and unnecessary attempt at social commentary in many scenes between Daryl and Freddy. It never works as comedy or insight. The movie takes itself far to seriously to be either frivolous comedy or mindless action, and the result is a movie with an identity crisis.

Of course, with a movie like this where the story sets itself up for continuous, unending twists, the only way to resolve anything is with a shoot-out. Itís an obvious and routine ending for a movie that tries to convince you it has something going for it that makes it unpredictable and unique. In its attempts, it turns out the complete opposite.

Copyright © 2001 by Mark Dujsik. All rights reserved.

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