Now, there are a few things that you must be willing to accept before you are able to totally suspend disbelief. First, that it is plausible for a man to trail buckets of some kind of blood all over the place and disappear into the ocean and survive. Anyone who loses that much blood would be dead. Well, possibly, you say, it was goat's blood. But we'll never know because there was no DNA or blood type test. I would have gotten a new defense attorney myself. Next, while in prison, Libby hooks up with two nice gals in for murder (played with warmth and wit by Roma Maffia and Davenia McFadden) whose only interests are to help her through the hard times. Makes the clinker seem warm and cuddly. They even bake a cake for her son's ninth birthday - a clever device to let the audience know how long Libby's been in prison - which brings me to the next point. After serving only six years she is released on conditional parole. Six years for murder? Caution: Ladies, do not try this at home. You would more likely serve 16 years before being paroled. But this is Hollywood and Ms. Judd doesn't look old enough to play someone who's been in prison 16 years. So, okay six years it is. And, believe me, your parole officer wouldn't be anything like Tommy Lee Jones.
Known for his character-driven dramas such as "Tender Mercies" and "Driving Miss Daisy", Mr. Beresford has said that he's always wanted to do a thriller. Ironically, he has chosen a thriller that is also dependent upon a strong, well-fleshed-out main character. With a tight, but at moments contrived, screenplay by David Weisberg and Douglas S. Cook - co-authors of the blockbuster hit, "The Rock", - Ashley Judd is terrific in this career-making role. She brings great maturity and empathy to Libby while maintaining a rueful sense of humor, and she is genuinely likable. The handsome Mr. Greenwood is a satisfyingly slimy Nick - and I mean that in only the nicest way. In the hands of less able an actor than Tommy Lee Jones, the somewhat stereotypical Travis wouldn't be half as interesting. But Mr. Jones is probably one of the most engaging actors around and makes any movie worth the price of a ticket. While a sense of redemption is implied in Travis' actions, I would like to have seen a pivotal moment in which his own painful past is resolved. And, hats off to whomever was responsible for the omission of the mandatory (it seems) romance between the leading man well into middle age and the much younger actress - now that's refreshing.
All in all, "Double Jeopardy" is a wide-eyed roller coaster ride full of suspense and surprises with a satisfying payoff. So if you want my advice, go ahead - suspend disbelief. You won't be sorry. After all, Hollywood isn't like life; that's why we go to the movies.
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