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
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.