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28 October 2014

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15 Double Whammy (2003)
Reviewed by Laura Bushell

updated 15th July 2003

reviewer's rating
two star


Tom DiCillo

Tom DiCillo

Denis Leary
Maurice G Smith
Elizabeth Hurley
Daniel Margotta
Steve Buscemi
Victor Argo
Luis Guzmán

100 minutes

Winchester Films

18th July 2003


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Interview with director Tom DiCillo

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Detective Ray Pluto (Denis Leary) is a cop who's always in the right place at the wrong time. Take the bizarre opening scene here, where Pluto is witness to a burger bar massacre when a long-standing back problem thwarts his attempt to shoot the gunman.

It's a potentially funny set-up, but with bystanders being blow to bits, doesn't exactly make for hilarious viewing. And therein lies the problem with "Double Whammy" - it's neither one thing nor the other. Instead it's a meandering series of good and bad scenarios.

The film follows Pluto as he tries to shake off his 'loser cop' reputation. He investigates the shooting of his neighbour (Luis Guzmán); deals with the sexual identity crisis of a workmate (Steve Buscemi); and begins a relationship with his sexy chiropractor (Elizabeth Hurley). Add to this a couple of inept gangsters and two pretentious wannabe scriptwriters, and it's no wonder it gets into a mess.

Leary is likeably deadpan as the put-upon cop. And, although generally underused, Guzmán and Buscemi's humour still shines through their quirky supporting roles.

Director Tom DiCillo has clearly gone for comic capers over characterisation, sacrificing any real plotting for laughs.

Although it's hard to be overjoyed with "Double Whammy", it similarly doesn't rouse emotion in the opposite direction, as there's nothing hugely dislikeable about it either. It's amusing enough to sit and watch but has no resonance beyond that.

Come to think of it, though, there is one surprise: Elizabeth Hurley is actually quite good. There you go.

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