Double Take

The story behind Double Take is much more enjoyable than the movie itself. This current incarnation begins with author Graham Greene's (The End of the Affair) novel Across the Bridge, and everything is downhill from there. Somewhere along the way it lost its pedigree and began a long slide down until the present. There are very few funny moments and a story that might be confusing if anybody bothered paying attention to it. Double Take uses car chases and shootouts to cover up any dull moment, which means that nearly the entire film consists of car chases and shootouts.

It all involves two guys trying to go to Mexico. Daryl Chase (Orlando Jones, The Replacements, Liberty Heights) was a Wall Street banker who was set up for murder. Freddy Tiffany (Eddie Griffin, Foolish, Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo) is the complete opposite; an unrefined, crazy con man who is following Chase. The two switch identities to help Chase go undercover, which leads to plenty of unfunny characterizations of each other. The CIA, FBI, Mexican drug lords, bounty hunters, and the NYPD are after Chase, whose cross-country journey begins in New York.

Writer/director George Gallo (a veteran screenwriter) messes things up by having a script that makes no sense. Chase is supposedly smart, but some of his initial decisions are far from it. Jurisdiction is also an alien concept. Part of what makes Double Take unenjoyable is how badly Gallo messes up easy things about what agency can do what where. People are constantly double-crossing each other, and no one is whom he/she says. Aside from a couple of the main people, all these hidden agendas do not amount to anything. The important roles are easy to guess, so it is just a matter of waiting out the movie.

The death of a comedy comes by not being funny. Double Take comes very close. Jones and Griffin come off as annoying, which is sad since both of them are capable of so much more. Here, they mug for the camera with tired stereotypes of 'the hood.' Plus, it takes a certain amount of skill to make so many explosions and bullets boring. And apparently everybody around Chase and Tiffany are inept, since they cannot seem to recognize that the two do not look alike. Fortunately, movie viewers can easily recognize Double Take for what it is, and can easily avoid it.

Haro Rates It: Pretty Bad.
1 hour, 28 minutes, Rated R for violence and language.

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