Making the Grades
Director George Gallo gives us a fast-paced story of stolen identities, illegal drugs and corrupt government officials in his movie, Double Take.
A hefty deposit into the account of a Mexican soda bottling company raises the suspicions of Harvard-educated investment banker Daryl Chase (Orlando Jones) who represents the owner. His worst fears are realized that evening when, returning to his apartment, he and his girlfriend Chloe (Garcelle Beauvais) are ambushed by members of the Gutierrez drug cartel who use the pop production as a front. Rescued by CIA Agent T.J. McCready (Gary Grubbs), Daryl is briefed on the agency's plans to take down the drug dealers. Things begin to unravel when Daryl finds his assistant murdered in her home, and a shootout between the killer and police leaves two officers dead. Framed for their murders and threatened by thugs, Daryl follows McCready's advice to make a dash for Mexico. Catching a train, Daryl finds Freddy Tiffany (Eddie Griffin), a pesky street hustler he was cautioned to avoid, is already at the station.
Making the best of a bad situation, Daryl, who needs a passport other than his own to cross the border, switches identities with Freddy, only to discover that he is now a wanted man on both sides of the line, with the Mexican police and a Texas farmer turned bounty hunter hounding his every move.
Billed as a comedy, Double Take is full of spilt blood, blazing guns, moderate profanities, and exposed bodies in shrink-wrapped dresses and lingerie. Orlando Jones does a fair job of eliciting sympathy for a man whose morning has gone completely wrong, but the graphic depiction of shootings and a knife threat, add elements of drama that often outweigh any comic relief supplied by Freddy's character. Even attempts at cartoon-type violence (after being thrown from the train Freddy gets back on only to be knocked off by a railroad crossing sign, and another character is hit in the groin) failed to generate any real laughs. Unfortunately, the double-dose of violence in this action flic may be more than your family is willing to take.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Double Take.
On the train ride, Daryl and Freddie discuss the importance of “Harvard” smarts vs. street smarts. What roles should book learning and common sense play in a person’s education? Is one more valuable than the other?
Although Daryl was highly-educated and wealthy in comparison to Freddy, he sometimes lacks courtesy and respect when dealing with others, particularly those who are in service occupations. In comparison how does Freddy treat people? Did this make a difference to how they were received?
Many of the characters in this story were not who they appeared to be. How did Daryl choose whom he should trust? Some of the characters were put into positions of risk. Was this fair, or ethical?