Double Take

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Double Take

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Double Take

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An action-comedy boasting enough star power to light up an efficiency apartment for several hours, Double Take stars 7-Up pitchman Orlando Jones and stand-up comedian Eddie Griffin as filmdom's umpteenth pair of mismatched strangers on the run from the law. Written and directed by buddy-comedy specialist George Gallo (Wise Guys, Midnight Run, Bad Boys), Double Take casts Jones as an uptight black businessman who must join forces with wisecracking hustler Griffin to make it to Mexico after he's framed for murder. Common sense might dictate that wanted men attempting to reach the border without being discovered would behave as anonymously as possible, but Jones decides that the train is the perfect place to do an ebonics-slanging, snooty-waiter-offending impersonation of Griffin that's as inauspicious as a ring of A-bomb explosions. But the logic-defying stupidity doesn't end there, as Jones continues to impersonate Griffin even after he realizes that Griffin is wanted for the murder of a Mexican politician. Much of Double Take's plot centers on the notion that black men, no matter how rich, powerful, or educated, will always be viewed with suspicion and skepticism, even treated like criminals. It's an insight found throughout movies and rap music, and in a better film it might have grounded the proceedings in sobering social reality. In Double Take, however, it serves as a mere plot device, a way to keep people chasing Griffin and Jones through an endless series of John Woo-inspired shoot-outs. In its first half, Double Take is merely frenzied and mediocre, skipping over one massive plot hole after another on its way to Mexico. In its second half, however, the film lurches into incoherence, as Jones and Griffin endure so many double-crosses that it becomes hard to care about any of the sub-cardboard characters. With his screenplay for Midnight Run, Gallo created one of the few exceptions to the rule that mismatched-buddy movies are inherently formulaic and generic. With Double Take, he's created even more evidence in its favor.

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