Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Grisham plus Harris equals FRACTURE

FRACTURE is a sub-John Grisham court-room drama. Ryan Gosling gives a decent enough performance as the arrogant, Southern smart-ass lawyer charged with prosecuting a supposedly slam-dunk murder case. (In olden days, this role would've gone to Tom Cruise.) Trick is that while the murderer has confessed and was caught with the gun, the evidence trail has evaporated. (Turns out the unfaithful wife/victim was bedding the arresting cop.) Anthony Hopkins is on the verge of Lektor as he challenges the young lawyer to convict him. So unfolds a tricksy little "how-dunnit".

Benchmarked against director, Gregory Hoblit's, earlier work, PRIMAL FEAR, FRACTURE doesn't look that great. The whole corporate lawyer love-interest sub-plot is a waste of time, though providing the obligatory Hollywood eye-candy in the form of Rosamund Pike. And Fiona Shaw is wasted as the presiding judge, although perhaps after her disastrous performance in THE BLACK DAHLIA, this is no bad thing. And, it's a bit of a shame to cast Embeth Davidtz and then give her so little screen time. Still, compared to, say, PERFECT STRANGER, FRACTURE is one of the better thrillers on offer right now.

FRACTURE is on release in the US, Singapore and the UK. It opens in Israel, Iceland and Italy next week. It opens in Belgium, France, Denmark, Hong Kong, Norway, Argentina, Germany, the Netherlands, Finland and Turkey. It opens in Australia, Estonia and Egypt in August.

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