by Jason Whyte
"Double Take" is a headache-inducing 88 minutes gone haywire. George Gallo's offensive, disasterous action film that is like drinking water laced with bleach. There's so many bad logics in the plot, characters changing personalities, gun fights ending before they begin, pointless action sequences, even more pointless digital sound, all set to a pulsating Hot New Soundtrack, available in record stores everywhere.This is the kind of movie that is referred to as a "January" movie. Sometimes, you'll get one of these post-Christmas movies that slip through the cracks ("Orange County" is one that comes instantly to mind), but there's usually a bomb this big waiting to happen, and this kind of so-called reverse plotting, double entendres, and characters who may not be all they are cracked up to be, pop up by means of the tired screenplay.
"BAM! Was that loud enough for you? No? Turn it up! BAAAAAAM!!!"
Orlando Jones is Darryl, a New York stockbroker who is framed for a murder he didn't commit, and goes to Mexico to clear his name. There's Freddy (Eddie Griffin) who keeps following him around; a briefcase steal, showing up in Darryl's office, even at the train stop when he escapes. Is this guy just lucky to be everywhere that Darryl is, that this guy agrees to switch places. Meanwhile, everyone else involved is up to their own schtick, in superflous scenes, like a bar singer who sings unfunny trailer-park lyrics, Darryl's cop friend who is corrupt, and an Emu farmer who claims his animals are all protein, unlike cows. Uh huh.
If Eddie Griffin in the first 25 minutes wasn't the unfunniest thing I have seen since Adam Sandler talking sideways in "Little Nicky," it gets even worse. As Freddy and Darryl progress on their journey on a train, they even switch their identities. One of the biggest blunders of the movie occurs when Orlando Jones all of a sudden seems to have this flair for imitating Eddie Griffin so well, in a disasterous diner car scene that is so loud and obnoxious you'll want to cover your ears.
If anyone doesn't come out of "Double Take" without an earache, I'd be surprised. The sound designers pump up the gun blasts as if they are inside a tin drum, and the dialogue is recorded so incredibly loud that it's bad enough that the dialogue by Griffin and Jones come out shouting, even when they are talking normally...the soundtrack screams it in your ear, like that guy who pretends to whisper something in your ear and winds up giving ear damage instead.
Poor Orlando Jones. I liked him so much in "The Replacements" and he's funny in the occasional film, that I thought that he would be worth checking out here. Not so. Gallo seems to like Jones as smart-alecky, loud, obnoxious and unlikable hero. What was once the funny "Make 7 Up Yours" guy has now turned into a joke. Ditto for Eddie Griffin, who can be funny when used properly like in "Undercover Brother", but not here. Fingernails on a chalkboard would actually be a compliment. He's about as fun to watch as waiting ten minutes at a highway turn-on because there are too many cars passing.I read an article on this film, where the actors say they love the script, and the director wanted it to be a different kind of "Midnight Run," with a twist. After watching this movie, I've come to the conclusion the actors read the summary, and the director needs to go back to film school or watch more movies. What else can be said about the guy who directed "Trapped in Paradise?"
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originally posted: 06/13/04 23:26:52