Tuesday, May 02, 2023

Double Life, Starring Javicia Leslie

Compared to the other attorneys in this film, Assistant DA Mark Setter was relatively upright and ethical. He was only cheating on his wife. In contrast, his colleagues’ corruption is undermining public safety. Unfortunately, Setter is also one who gets murdered, on the eve of his biggest trial. His demise will also be the awkward catalyst bringing together his wife and secret hook-up (words like “mistress” or “lover” would probably overstate the depth of their relationship) in Martin Wood’s Double Life, which releases this Friday in theaters and on VOD.

Sharon Setter thought her husband was on his way back from the office when he placed that final fateful call, but he has really returning from Jo Creuzot’s place. Regardless, Ms. Setter hears it all when he is driven off the road to his death. She quickly tires of the smarmy sympathy and fake solicitousness of her late husband’s colleagues, but Creuzot seems refreshingly down-to-earth.

She introduces herself as the manager of Setter’s favorite courthouse tavern, whom he helped with some legal difficulties, but the truth will come out eventually. When it does, it is sure to complicate the two women’s amateur sleuthing efforts to solve Setter’s murder—not that is much of a mystery. A blind alpaca could figure out who in the small cast of characters is guilty, by virtue of their blatantly suspicious behavior.

Honestly, most episodes of
Barnaby Jones are more intricately plotted than Double Life. There is no question Michael Hurst & Chris Sivertson’s screenplay is better suited to Lifetime than a ticket-selling movie theater. The only conceivable commercial justification for its studio distribution would be the post-Arrowverse starring role for former Batwoman Javicia Leslie, but even that seems like a stretch.

Still, as Creuzot, she has the strongest screen presence and shows off some decent chops, in the otherwise unremarkable action scenes. Supposedly, Creuzot’s ex before Setter was a security specialist, who taught her Krav Maga and left behind some convenient surveillance devices (because apparently that sort of equipment isn’t very expensive).

Regardless, there are several tone-deaf scenes in which Det. Carmen Traxler acts put-out by the two women’s interest in Setter’s case. Imagine that: a wife preoccupied by her husband’s murder. Seriously, Traxler is supposed to be a cop, not the Manhattan District Attorney.

Alas, nearly everything about
Double Life is mediocre, at best. Even Javicia’s Arrowverse fans will be disappointed by the film’s uninspired story and undistinguished style. Not recommended, Double Life releases this Friday (5/5).