Artisan Home Entertainment presents
Double Bang (2001)
"You're the one who crossed the line. Nobody's going to protect you. Nobody."- Billy Brennan (William Baldwin)
Stars: William Baldwin, Jon Seda
Other Stars: Adam Baldwin, Elizabeth Mitchell, Sofia Milos
Director: Heywood Gould
Manufacturer: 3rd Sector
MPAA Rating: R for Violence, language, drug use and brief sexuality
Run Time: 01h:43m:35s
Release Date: 2002-02-19
DVD ReviewCorrupt cops are not a new movie plot device by any means, and the subject matter has been beaten to death over the years. Director Heywood Gould doesn't break any real new ground with Double Bang, another entry in the cop-on-the-take series, but he does inject some subtle elements (like a jazz score, for example) into the mix that give this tepid crime drama a little body.
Billy Brennan (William Baldwin) is a good cop, and his ex-partner Vinnie (Adam Baldwin—no relation to the Baldwin acting dynasty) has been doing business on the side with a shifty coke dealer. When Vinnie is riddled with bullets early on, Billy vows to avenge his death by discovering who had his former partner (and best friend, of course) killed. His investigation eventually leads him back to a fast-talking mob punk named Sal (Jon Seda), a suitcase full of money, and unfortunately not much else of interest along the way.
Most of the story is told via flashback, which is designed to let the viewer get to know Vinnie, and see how he ended up going down the wrong path that eventually killed him. The sad part is that Vinnie's descent is not really full of any insight, it's just another variation of a cop tempted by money to look the other way. Adam Baldwin gives a nice, edgy performance, but it all seems oh-so-familiar.
A couple of storylines overlap, including that of the parole board therapist Dr. Winterman (Elizabeth Mitchell), who jots down solitary comments like "honest" and "sad" on an otherwise blank legal pad when listening to a patient. Winterman eventually serves a sort of love interest for Billy, though her involvement in the plot development is mired in trite convenience and her dramatic personal revelation seems a little out of place.
Surprisingly, none of the acting is outright awful, and all deliver healthy B-movie caliber spins. It's just that everyone is so grim and serious in Double Bang, that it's like a huge vacuum that sucks out all of the energy. Jon Seda is fun as the wise-cracking thug Sal, and his smart-ass comments make him the only character in the whole film who doesn't have a constant pained expression on their face.
This is the kind of film where all of the assorted riff-raff have colorful nicknames, like Sally Fish, Richie The Greek, Bunky or Jukie. Maybe this is a common occurrence in so-called "real life," but it always cracks me when I see it in a movie; just once I would like to meet someone named Jukie. Well, perhaps not.
Rating for Style: C
Rating for Substance: C
|Aspect Ratio||1.85:1 - Widescreen|
|Original Aspect Ratio||yes|
Image Transfer Review: The 1.85:1 widescreen anamorphic transfer from Artisan on this straight-to-DVD title is not anything to rave about. Fine grain is evident during most of the night sequences, of which there are many. The dark, moody atmosphere apparently intended by Gould is tripped up at times by some glaringly noticeable compression issues. Colors look pretty good, with a dominant blue hue giving the film an icy, cold look. Black levels are decent, and the resulting shadow delineation is deep enough to reveal adequate detail.
Image Transfer Grade: B-
Audio Transfer Review: Here's another disc where the provided 5.1 Dolby Digital and the 2.0 surround track are virtually identical, an issue that always perplexes me. Neither mix bother with using the rear channels for any significant sound cues, and I could really discern no noticeable difference between either track. Dialogue is clean on both, with minimal directional imaging. In general, the audio transfer lacks depth and is a bit on the flat side.
Audio Transfer Grade: C+
Disc ExtrasFull Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 20 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish with remote access
Cast and Crew Filmographies
1 Original Trailer(s)
Extras Review: When this film ended, I didn't really feel the need to absorb a few hours worth of behind-the-scenes supplementals for Double Bang. Lucky for me, because a full-frame theatrical trailer and a handful of filmographies are the only "extras" here.
Extras Grade: D
Final CommentsGould takes another stab at a corrupt cop flick, after 1991's One Good Cop, but this one is a little slow moving and never really develops enough emotion to generate any real concern toward any of the characters. On the plus side, I appreciate the complete absence of the standard issue car chase, and the smoky, jazz-tinged mood that Gould tries to set is a welcome change of pace from the noisy B-movie cop genre. Still, there just isn't enough substance here to give this a positive recommendation.
Rich Rosell 2002-03-28