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"Double Take"

Directed by George Gallo.
Written by George Gallo. 
Starring Orlando Jones and Eddie Griffin.
Release Year:  2001 
Review Date:  1/13/01 

Folks--

I originally hadn't planned to see a movie on Friday night, but because I was supposed to go to the airport and pick up a friend, I should have known that the flight would be delayed...and it was!  Well, there is a new mall near Baltimore-Washington International Airport in Anne Arundel County, and thankfully, it had a movie theater.

This mall was beautiful.  In fact, this new mall is so big that it is divided into five "neighborhoods", each sponsored by a major corporation!  It had a Jillian's (a new-age version of--ironically--Chuck E. Cheese), about 200 stores and a 24-screen movie theater.  The theater is run by Muvico, an up-and-coming theater chain in the vein of Regal and its "stadium seating" format.  The theaters are awesome, and if it wasn't 45 minutes from my house I would see all of my movies there.

As beautiful as all of these components were, the movie I selected, "Double Take," is steaming cow dung.  I thought the preview for this one was pretty funny, and I like many Americans enjoy Orlando Jones and his "Make 7-Up Yours" commercials.  Well, I blew it here my friends.  A slick-looking production, Jones plays some kind of investment officer that gets caught up in an international plot that involves an mysterious secret agent (Eddie Griffin) in an adventure that runs from New York City to La Rancha.  I would love to tell you the plot...

...but, the writers of this movie include so many stupid double crosses and plot twists that I literally did not understand the movie even when it was over.  And, I'm a UVA graduate, which means by default that I am a pretty smart guy!!  If someone tells you that they could see every twist coming, then just pimp-slap them because they are lying their head off.  Griffin's identity changes so many times alone that I didn't take anything he said seriously, which led to me not liking him, which led to me not *caring* about him, which led to me not laughing at his trying-too-hard jokes.

This is where the movie is at its worse:  trying to be funny.  I have the impression that Jones could be pretty funny, but he is so badly used in this film it is shameful, save for one scene (also in the movie preview) when he is trying to get a Schlitz Malt Liquor in the dining car of a train.  Otherwise, he is left to play the confused, unwitting hero of the movie and he is just as lost as the audience.  Griffin seems like he could be funny, but he is trying to be so stereotypically black in this movie--his phrases and jokes can all be found on a Def Comedy Jam script from 1994--that there were painfully quiet gaps in the movie from my opening-night audience.

You could almost see the tumbleweed blowing through the aisles.

With that said, there are a lot of hot women in the movie and the action--although very sporadic--is decent.  But this alone is not enough to save this very bad film.

Rating:  Rental

 

Comments?  Drop me a line at justin@bellviewmovies.com.

 

Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  This is the highest rating a movie can receive.  Reserved for movies that exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development, setting...or Salma Hayek.  Not necessarily in that order. 

"$X.XX Show":  This price changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently, it is the $9.50 Show.  While not technically perfect, this is a movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.  "Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca", but you'll have a great time watching.  The $9.50 Show won't win any Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see "Office Space"). 

"Matinee":  An average movie that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.  Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about yourself.  A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that Lakers game last night?" 

"Rental":  This rating indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one."  Mostly forgettable, you couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the video store was out of copies of "Ronin."  If you can, see this movie for free.  This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a half stars." 

"Hard Vice":  This rating is the bottom of the barrel.  A movie that only six other human beings have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen.  A Shannon Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a movie.  Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or "Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!  (Warning:  strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard Vice"-rated movies.)

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All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/bellviewmovies.com except where noted
1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09