Eddie Griffin, stand-up comic and star of the defunct UPN sitcom
_Malcolm_&_Eddie_. Orlando Jones, co-star of _The_Replacements_ and
commonly recognized as the "7Up Guy." Put these two together, and you
get an action comedy that can be called just about anything... but funny.
Despite what the ads lead one to believe, _Double_Take_ is not about
swapping identities so much as simply swapping outfits. When some
heavies target Wall Street banker Daryl Chase (Jones) thanks to some
dirty dealings at his firm, he trades clothes with loudmouth street
hustler Freddy Tiffany (Griffin) to get out of a sticky situation. After
the danger has been avoided and the two take a long trip to Mexico for
safety, for some reason the pair never think to switch back, and for
equally inscrutable reasons they start to play at being the
other--leading to all sorts of mistaken identity situations. Never mind
that their impressions of each other wouldn't fool anybody, nor the fact
that Griffin and Jones simply LOOK NOTHING ALIKE--in changing from formal
to casual wear, they are taken as completely different people.
Maybe writer-director George Gallo was trying to make some
sociopolitical comment about how non-blacks think all blacks look alike,
but that's giving him way too much credit. Besides, Gallo has a lot of
other things on his mind: namely the convolutions of his overly plotted
script. _Double_Take_ appears to be a lark of an entertainment, but
there are so many sudden doublecrosses and reversals that it's
bewildering. Not that deciphering the plot is worth the effort; the
explanations Gallo offers are crude at best. If there's anything Gallo
successfully does, it's confuse the audience.
And if there's one thing Gallo certainly does not do, it's make the
audience laugh. Given the right material Griffin and Jones can be funny,
but one would never know that from the few amusing moments they are able
to create here. Jones' more lively qualities are muted in the straight
man role, and the goofy Griffin is hardly convincing when called to do
gunblazing action, not to mention he's just hampered in general by the
PG-13 limitations. He was a lot more effective in the misbegotten Master
P vehicle _Foolish_--a far worse film than _Double_Take_, mind you, but
at least there he wasn't required to rein in his more profane (and more
effective) comic instincts.
But a lack of joyous abandon is the least of _Double_Take_'s problems.
So what is the greatest? A writer-director with a half-baked script and
not the vaguest clue of how to bring it to life.