Double Jeopardy

I’m not sure how it happened, but Antonella and I found ourselves watching the 1999 potboiler Double Jeopardy, starring Ashley Judd and Tommy Lee Jones. I avoided this film when it came out 15 years ago, so I’m not sure how I got sucked in last night. Needless to say, it was pretty brutal. Ashley Judd is as lifeless as wood in the role of a woman wrongly accussed of murdering her husband, who then loses her son as a result of the legal fallout.

I think it may be the most toothless representation of incarceration in all of film. She enters prison, immediately is surrounded by a diverse group of friends, and thenstarts to train like Rocky Balboa when she realizes her double-crossing husband framed her. It’s pure kitsch—imitating various film formulas with no soul whatsoever. I have to wonder if this film might eventually gain cult statusg given how audaciously it cannibalizes narrative—though it might be better for all of us if it’s not considered at all. Anyway, below is the scene in the prison where the ridiculous legal premise of the film “double jeopardy” is laid out (it’s been debunked), and Ashley Judd’s character immediately proceeds to ostensibly train for the revenge kill. So bizarre.

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