Double Take

on January 12, 2001 by Dwayne E. Leslie
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   Successful investment banker Daryl Chase (Orlando Jones) finds his bright future dimmed when he's framed for laundering drug money. With law enforcement agents closing in, Daryl heads for the border with hopes of finding a way to clear his name. Upon his hasty arrival at the train station, he notices that it is heavily patrolled, and determines the only way out is with a disguise. With the help of a street hustler named Freddy Tiffany (Eddie Griffin), clothes and identities are switched and Daryl emerges a new man. Unfortunately, Daryl's original problems pale when he discovers that his newly assumed identity turns out to be that of an even more wanted criminal than he is.

   This new variation on the "Trading Places" theme suffers from a scattershot approach to rapid-fire jokes that usually miss their mark, though Griffin's comedic talents brighten the proceedings and Jones does his part to add his own flavor to the mix.

   Suspension of disbelief notwithstanding, the film fails to convincingly exchange the identities of Jones and Griffin's characters: They do not look enough alike to cause the amount of ruckus that they do, especially when characters in the film are looking at large wanted posters of Freddy and yet mistake Daryl as the wanted criminal.

   Though all of the double-crossing gets confusing, the filmmakers do pull together the loose strings satisfactorily in the climactic bullet-riddled ending. Starring Eddie Griffin, Orlando Jones, Garcelle Beauvais and Andrea Navedo. Directed and written by George Gallo. Produced by David Permut and Brett Ratner. A Buena Vista release. Action/Comedy. Rated PG-13 for violence and language. Running time: 88 min

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