Double Jeopardy is by no means a perfect movie, but was most certainly a perfect movie for 12 year old me, which is how old I was when I first saw this. I didn’t care how accurate/inaccurate the whole double jeopardy concept was, or who was right or wrong, or really anything other than the fact that a woman was wronged by a man and then turned into a badass. The only other movie I had known about that was squarely about a female badass was G.I. Jane, which kind of scared me (and I’ve never actually seen it because for years I was sure there was rape involved), so Double Jeopardy was a much more palatable alternative.
And in the 15 or so years since, I still kinda feel the same way. I know now that double jeopardy doesn’t quite work like that, but I still don’t really care. If anything, Ashley Judd’s badassery is only more obvious to me now as the total gravity of her situation (falsely convicted of her husband’s murder, son essentially kidnapped by not-dead husband) is much clearer. There was a part of me as a kid that thought maybe, in the end, she and her husband could like . . . make up? I didn’t really want that to happen per se, but it didn’t seem out of the question for some reason. Watching it now, I wanted Libby to spit in the face of her fake dead husband every time she saw him. The flip side is that Tommy Lee Jones’ parole officer seems less of an annoying bad guy turned good guy and more of a guy literally trying to do his job.
I will say, one thing that did not work for me in 1999 or 2016 is the absolutely absurd depiction of New Orleans. In the Double Jeopardy New Orleans, Mardi Gras is 24/7, you literally can’t walk down the street without being stopped by a jazz funeral, and everyone is rich, white, and has a thick Scarlet O’Hara-esque old Atlanta accent. The New Orleans of 1999 is very different from the New Orleans of 2016 but Double Jeopardy does not get a pass just because of Katrina. The Double Jeopardy New Orleans just never existed, anywhere, anytime.
So no, don’t watch Double Jeopardy for a law lesson or a travel guide to New Orleans. But if you want to see a scorned woman work her way up the badass ladder until finally achieving ultimate badass status . . . do see Double Jeopardy.
I have a strange feeling that I might have watched this before but overall it seemed fairly new to me. I did know what the whole double jeopardy part of the plot was though, unfortunately. I think overall this movie was fun but it had a lot of just strange things. It felt like sloppy film making sometimes. And nothing big but like, someone would be on a phone talking with their hand over the where they talk into the phone. Or there was a lot of bad green screen choices. The nudity in the film was surprising and nice though.
Overall I think this movie is fun but it feels too much of a product from the 90s to really hold up over time. It was also a movie I loved asking Elizabeth if New Orleans really is like that. There were some pretty terrible attempts at New Orleans accents.