Judd plays Libby Parsons, a woman with a young son and a successful husband. But one night while on board a small boat, she wakes up to find her husband missing, and herself accused of killing him. After being convicted of his murder and being sent to prison, she finds out that he's still alive. So when she gets out on parole 6 years later, she sets out to find her husband, kill the bastard, and get back her son. I suppose written that way, the movie doesn't sound too terrible. But the name of the movie is Double Jeopardy. As we all know, either from actual knowledge or watching enough cop and lawyer movies, double jeopardy means that you can't be tried for the same crime twice. There are exceptions of course, but in simple English, that's it. So while in prison, a compassionate murderer tells Libby that since she's already been convicted of her husband's murder, she can rightfully go kill and him there's nothing the government can do. Well all I have to say to that is bullshit.
First, since she didn't really kill him the first time, if she kills him for real, she's not really being tried for the same crime. Different act, different circumstances, different murder. Second of all, she was initially convicted in Washington state. If she kills him in another state, she can be convicted in that state since the two states are separate sovereigns. Third, she could be tried in federal court for Civil Rights violations (think Rodney King beating). Also, if you have a $2 million insurance policy on your husband, with you as a beneficiary, if you kill him, you're NOT getting the money! No insurance company would pay you for that, it's ridiculous even thinking about it. How many more people would kill their spouses if they knew once they got out of jail they're have money waiting for them? And how the hell is she out on parole after only 6 years? Every time a legal issue was brought up it was brought up wrong and it annoyed me more and more. I am the king of suspending beliefs when going to see a movie, but when the main plot point, the title of the damn film, is flawed, it burns me.
So, you might ask, all that legal stuff aside, how was the film? Well, it still stunk. Ashley Judd may be one of the most beautiful actresses working today, but I never realized until now how lousy an actor she is. None of her emotions and facial expressions ever matched the scene she was in. Her range as an actress needs to be expanded somehow before I could ever believe that she was capable of any of what happened in this film. And the dialogue? A sampling: "Do you know who I am honey?" "They told me you were dead." "No, I'm not." As a friend of mine said, If I were 10 years old, and someone I was told was dead all of a sudden turned up at my soccer game, I'd be running the other way in a hurry. The scenes in prison seemed unrealistic. I've never been in a women's prison before, but I can't believe a bunch of murderers, female or not, are going around baking cakes for each other. Tommy Lee Jones was the only saving grace in this film and he wasn't even in it that much.
So overall, I thought Double Jeopardy was a waste of time. I apologize if this review sounds biased based on a flawed legal premise, but I think even if I was able to get past that, the movie was still bad. I'd suggest seeing something else instead.
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