Double Whammy

Double Whammy


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Whatever happened to Denis Leary? Nothing. He's been around, playing character roles, like Steve Buscemi. He's not used to leads, which is odd, since he has an edge over the pretty boy mid-life trophy stars, whose personal trainers are inevitably called Dorian.

Here, he plays an accident prone cop, who makes a point of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. For example, he stops off at a diner to purchase a couple of heartstoppers-with-cheese for himself and his partner (the lugubrious Mr Buscemi), who remains in the vehicle, when a redneck crazy opens up with a Uzi-style automatic machine pistol. As he dives for cover, extracting his service-issue handgun, his back goes.

Eventually, the situation is relieved by a kid, hiding under one of the tables, who picks up his revolver and plugs the guy. Next day, the papers are full of it. The headlines scream LOSER COP, while the kid becomes an instant celebrity.

Meanwhile, at the precinct, he is reprimanded, told to take a holiday, have his back fixed and stop embarrassing the NYPD. His ultra-smooth arch rival (Chris Noth) is given his cases. Temporarily, he has been invalided out, humiliated and deprived of duty. And then he meets Liz Hurley. What more could go wrong?

The script suffers from a surfeit of sub-plots, many of which have no legs. Hurley plays a chiropractor, who does more than ease his pain. Even with glasses and a white coat, she can't help looking like the captain of the lacrosse team, having a giggle at the end of term show.

The caretaker (Luis Guzman) of his building is attacked by drug-deprived street punks, while upstairs in another apartment two aspiring screenwriters construct a hostage situation to inspire their latest work. Inevitably, everything and everyone comes together in a comic mishmash.

It should be fun, but it's ragged, and it's no-one's fault. The feel of New York has a vibrancy and a life of its own, probably because it's Toronto. The support actors work hard. Hurley is better when she's not trying to seduce the entire cinema and Leary carries his trademark cynicism with resignation.

Somewhere, writer/director Tom DiCillo loses his keys and the story runs off with that nice man from Nonsense Inc.

Reviewed on: 17 Jul 2003
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Double Whammy packshot
Comedy sees a disgraced cop try to rebuild his reputation.
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Director: Tom DiCillo

Writer: Tom DiCillo, based on the book by Carl Hiaasen

Starring: Denis Leary, Elizabeth Hurley, Steve Buscemi, Luis Guzman, Chris Noth, Keith Nobbs, Donald Faison, Melonie Diaz

Year: 2001

Runtime: 100 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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