Double Take Movie Review

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New year, new pile of movies straight from the Hollywood dumping ground of badly test-screened, obscure, unfunny, and badly acted garbage. Double Take is the first pony out of the gate. I don't know which is the worst part of the film: Eddie Griffin's overacting, Orlando Jones' non-acting, or the ugly mutt that passes as Griffin's sidekick.

Orlando Jones does a better job in those 7-Up commercials than in the role of Darryl Chase, an uptight investment banker set up by a combination of the CIA, the FBI, a Mexican drug cartel, the Federales, and an emu farmer as part of a double murder/embezzlement scheme. Running from the law, Chase changes clothes and identity with Freddy Tiffany, a two-bit hustler named played by Eddie Griffin he encounters on the street. Together, the pair travel across the country to Mexico, where a certain CIA agent holds the key to Chase's freedom. And of course, during the journey, Darryl Chase rediscovers his roots as a black man while Freddy Tiffany shucks and jives his way through every situation like he's the bastard son of Eddie Murphy and Jerry Lewis.

After numerous car chases, way too many plot "twists," the aforementioned annoying dog, the bad acting of Vivica A. Fox, and too many jokes about a glass eye, the movie becomes a science project left in the school refrigerator to rot over the summer. Orlando Jones, a genuinely talented actor/writer, seems out of place here, annoyed by the film and especially by his costar's lack of acting ability. Griffin has the energy of Tito Puente, the humor of Richard Pryor, and the acting ability of former Seattle Seahawks linebacker Brian Bosworth. Jones deserves better material and collaborators.

It's a shame that Double Take is as bad as it is, because this cinematic travesty was written and directed by George Gallo, the screenwriter of one of the funniest films of the 1980's, Midnight Run (the plot of which bears a striking similarity to this film). Here are a few bonus facts to consider if you haven't bought my evaluation: The film is based on an obscure 1950's English film starring Rod Steiger called Across the Bridge. It took more than a decade to get the green light for production. It describes itself as a cross between "film noir, a thriller, and a comedy."

I call it pure crap.

Writer/director George Gallo consumes much of Double Take's DVD extras with patter about the making of the film and his influences, namely that the movie is meant as a "hip hop homage" to thrillers like North by Northwest and Touch of Evil. Perhaps most bizarre, though, is Gallo's "insight" into the various "clues" he has peppered throughout the film, clues that the attentive viewer can use to help "figure out" the plot. If you need clues to figure out the simplistic Double Take, then you truly deserve what's coming to you.

Finger, pulled.

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Double Take Rating

" Unbearable "

Rating: PG-13, 2001

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