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Friday, 14 September 2018

Retro Review: Double Take (2001)

Double Take
Cast: Eddie Griffin, Orlando Jones, Garcelle Beauvais, Vivica A. Fox, Gary Grubbs, Edward Herrmann, Andrea Navedo
Genre: Action Comedy
Worldwide Box Office Gross: over $31 million 

Plot: A man stuck on the run takes another man's passport, only to find himself stuck with the identity of a street hustler

'I Need To Do A Double Take - This Ain't That Good'

Double Take is in all respects a B-movie comedy, but also a mind-bogglingly confusing comedy that fails to elicit any real belly laughs in a so-called buddy comedy, wherein their buddy friendly partnership is zilch with the mispairing of Orlando Jones and Eddie Griffith. But this film also commits another sin: it is way too bland for me with a baffling plot to truly care about. 

Orlando Jones is Daryl Chase: a successful investment banker from New Yorker as the straight man, playing opposite Jones is the comedian and funny wise guy, Eddie Griffith, Freddy: a petty thief and the two exchange identities. Things get messier for Daryl when he is framed for money laundering for a Mexican drug cartel. He runs across the border to clear his name, with Freddy, cops who are going after him. 

Actresses Garcelle Beauvais and Vivica A. Fox are completely wasted in their equally demoted roles, especially with the latter getting killed off. Beauvais acts as nothing more than eye candy and it is sad to see her in a film where her talents are not developed well and given the right platform for her to shine. That, and I preferred her on The Jamie Foxx Show. As is the leads, Eddie Griffith and Orlando Jones and the unenergetic script they were given suppressed their talents. Griffith cannot carry a movie as a lead and doesn't have that 'it' factor of Eddie Murphy, whose riffs and parlays the mannerisms of Al Sharpton. His energy level is extremely high and much like a Robin Williams and Murphy on poor form, too much of his schtick and hyper and excessive delivery can become weary and tiresome to endure.   

Pratfalls are too few and far between and attempts at physical comedy & slapstick fail to materialise, I had a straight face for pretty much 99% of the time, watching this so-called comedy. There are car chases and minor outbreaks and shootouts, but even those aren't as entertaining. It tries to be Midnight Run meets Trading Places meets Bad Boys, only minus the A-list star attractions & the story just doesn't hold up. 

Written and directed by George Gallo, he wrote Midnight Run with Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin and Bad Boys with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, but he also churned out bombs such as My Mom's New Boyfriend, Wise Guys, See Spot Run and the sequel, The Whole Ten Yards starring Bruce Willis and Friends' Matthew Perry. Double Take is dubbed as a film noir, thriller and comedy, which also hints back to Midnight Run - yet in sitting through this, it fails in all three of these genres. It also took more than a decade to get the thumbs up for production; if it had a funnier script, better leads, better humour and a better story, I could see myself enjoying this a whole lot more. Even when it turns things up a notch towards the end that ends up turning into a John Woo actioner, it still wasn't enough.

It tries to be a lot of things for different viewers and audiences and tries to cater to fans of action and comedy, but it seems that almost none of its elements gels well together. 

As well as being one of the worst buddy comedies I've seen, this is also another in the line of the worst films for me. 

Combining action and comedy can be a recipe for success as proven by 48 Hrs, Lethal Weapon, but also the same applies for buddy comedies as demonstrated through Trading Places, Bowfinger, Wayne's World to name. The formula for their successes can be pinpointed towards numerous factors, and one of them is a strong pairing of actors who make it work and for us to buy into their partnership.

Sadly, however, Double Take just doesn't give us that.

Final Verdict:

Arguably the best thing about the movie is the Pomenarian dog and still, it never did enough to steal the show, nor seal the deal for the movie.

It's not that entertaining and neither it is as good as I truly wanted and expected. 

Double Take is easily forgettable. 


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