Double Whammy

Review Date:
Director: Tom DiCillo
Writer: Tom DiCillo
Producers: Larry Katz, Jim Serpico
Denis Leary
Elizabeth Hurley
Steve Buscemi
A disheartened cop who wasn’t able to stop a recent robbery attempt is put on leave when his back gives out. To cure the problem, the detective visits a chiropractor, who just happens to be a very hot woman, and it isn’t long before sparks fly between the two. In the meantime, his superintendent is having problems with his teenage daughter, his partner is going through a personal crisis and two of his neighbors are annoying screenwriters. A so-so movie ensues.
Other than its super-lame title and the fact that writer/director Tom DiCillo, the man behind cool films like JOHNNY SUEDE and LIVING IN OBLIVION is behind this mediocre offering, there’s nothing particularly exciting or boring about this movie. It’s interesting enough while you watch it, it has a couple of laughs and fun characters, but you really don’t give much of a shit about anyone as it moves along and it doesn’t leave much to ponder once it’s over. To be honest, I’ve seen this movie twice now and I still can’t remember much of its storyline. In fact, other than Denis Leary, the lead in this thing, the rest of the supporting cast seems to be there more as “quirky” sidekicks than anything. Luis Guzman always kicks ass as the second banana and he’s pretty funny here too. Elizabeth Hurley is also gorgeous as usual and seeing her roll around with Leary, with a quick shot of her nip and Leary groping her left and right, isn’t the worst way to spend 88 minutes. I also enjoyed the over-the-top antics of the two goofball “screenwriters” featured in the film, both of whom really captured the idiocy of such amateurish behavior. The film also manages to swerve together a few different plot points, all of which sort of come together in the end (not that you’d care if they did or not), and has an engaging, upbeat score. I didn’t think the violence intermixed with the humor worked as well as it could have, with the massacre of six people being brushed aside as it was, and the two “bad guys” in the movie were also a little too dumb, for my taste. I don’t mind if you have a couple of dopes as the villains, but do they have to be illiterate too?

Strangely enough, other than the shots of Hurley in tight tops, I was also oddly moved by one of the final sequences in which a daughter and her father finally connected. And even though I barely gave a rat’s ass about these people throughout the film (the kind of flick that you could shut off at any point and not care to rejoin any time thereafter), my tear-ducts actually moistened during this one emotional scene. This is what I would call an “easy” movie to watch. You can watch it with your parents, your girlfriend, your boyfriend, your friggin’ asshole brother…and pretty much everyone would likely agree that the film is entertaining enough, but nothing particularly engaging or exciting. Buscemi is billed higher than the others because of his established “name” in Hollywood, but his character is really inconsequential to the film. I did smirk at his character’s gay undertones though, and also appreciated Chris Noth’s performance as the cop with the attitude (loved the stares). In fact, now that I think back, I guess I could say that the performances were fun and believable all the way around, but the story itself, wasn’t particularly appealing. I did like the scenes of Leary smoking pot in front of his videotaped exercise tapes though (sadly, I could relate) and any scene featuring the irreverent Guzman or sexpot Hurley as the chiropractor (gimme a break!), but overall, this film is a few steps down for DiCillo, a director who seemed to be in the same realm as Rodriguez and Tarantino back in the day, but who doesn’t appear to have any more ambitions than shooting two-bit flicks in his usual stomping grounds of New York nowadays. This is a mediocre film recommendable only to those who find the premise interesting or enjoy a majority of the actors’ work.

(c) 2021 Berge Garabedian

Double Whammy