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Movie Review

Mild-mannered Wall Street banker Daryl Chase is unwittingly sucked into the high-stakes world of international drug trafficking in the shoot-em-up/buddy comedy Double Take. It begins when Daryl notices an unusually large deposit by one of his company’s south-of-the-border clients. He makes the mistake of telling the bank president (one of many characters whose loyalties aren’t what they seem) and soon finds himself on the run, framed for the murders of two police officers. Before Daryl can get out of New York City, a two-bit con man named Freddy Tiffany adheres himself to the frightened fugitive like toilet paper on the bottom of his shoe. Freddy is annoying, but he has the street smarts to complement Daryl’s Harvard education. The men trade clothes and personas and set out for Mexico where they hope to get the whole mess straightened out. To do so, they must elude the FBI, CIA, border guards and other suspicious authority figures brandishing automatic weapons. How surprised Daryl must be when he discovers that Freddy is even higher on the "most wanted" list than he is.

positive elements: There’s not much about the "heroes" or their behavior that is especially noble. Still, the movie vilifies the right bad guys (brutal thugs, drug traffickers, officials on the take, etc.) and wants to see justice prevail against them.

spiritual content: In the opening scene, a neon cross in the background reads, "Jesus Saves." A passing comment finds the profane, perverse Freddy referring to himself as a Christian.

sexual content: No sexual activity, though Freddy makes several crude references to intercourse. Daryl’s girlfriend is a runway model who appears along with her colleagues parading skimpy lingerie at a fashion show. Freddy owns a wristwatch with a bare-breasted woman on its face. An attempt to act cool leads Daryl to tug his crotch in the direction of a passing female.

violent content: Vehicles and buildings are strafed with bullets. Flurries of gunfire leave quite a few people dead. A high-ranking Mexican official is assassinated. A federal agent is shot in the head at point-blank range. A bad guy shoots himself in the foot, then accidentally empties a pistol into himself as he tumbles down a flight of stairs. People are attacked with knives. A man is crushed by a falling chandelier. Empty squad cars are blown up by a rocket launcher. An inert woman appears to have been murdered (we learn later that it was just an act). One man is thrown from a moving train. Elsewhere, characters rough each other up, and several people are bitten by a dog.

crude or profane language: Incessant. No f-words, but just about every other profanity in the book gets screen time. Over 100 instances include misuses of God’s name and more than 30 s-words. Daryl gives Freddy the finger.

drug and alcohol content: The drug cartel is portrayed negatively—as an evil empire with deep pockets and the ability to corrupt greedy American officials. Armed hoods load bags of cocaine onto an airplane. Freddie makes a crack about rolling someone up in a "blunt" (a hollowed-out cigar filled with marijuana). A number of characters smoke cigars. Daryl and Freddy consume beer, cocktails and Colt 45.

other negative elements: Some viewers will object to jokes that pander to racial stereotypes. Mexicans wade into Texas where they are met by border guards. Southern white folk are tone-deaf, shotgun-toting "crackers." Freddy relies on various urban/hip-hop cliches in his ghetto posturing and uses the n-word to refer to fellow African-Americans. He also calls women "b--ches." All come across as more demeaning than humorous.

conclusion: This film tosses a whole bushel of Hollywood formulas into a thresher and hits the juice. The buddy cop movie. The "road" picture. The highbrow/lowbrow identity swap. Unfortunately, it does nothing to improve on any of them. Double Take’s plot is both obvious and muddled. Upon entering this 88-minute maze, the exit is so obvious that the only surprises are red herrings and illogical twists that offer mere distractions before we get the expected conclusion. Jones (The Replacements, Fox’s Mad TV) and Griffin (UPN’s Malcolm & Eddie) give it the college try, but don’t have the best chemistry or much to work with. Even so, harsh language and a significant body count are it’s biggest drawbacks (it wouldn’t have taken much more in either department to bump Double Take out of PG-13 territory and earn it an R rating). Take comfort: If you choose to skip it, you won’t be missing much.

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Orlando Jones as Daryl Chase; Eddie Griffin as Freddy Tiffany; Gary Grubbs as T.J. McCready; Edward Herrmann as Charles Allsworth; Shawn Elliott as Chela/Gutierrez; Brent Briscoe as Junior Barnes; Andrea Navedo as Maque Sanchez; Garcelle Beauvais as Chloe; Willow as Delores


George Gallo ( )


Touchstone Pictures



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Bob Smithouser

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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