Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Box Office Review - The Lincoln Lawyer

The Lincoln Lawyer is a film on a seesaw. On the one side is the unoriginal film making, and contrived story. On the other side is the quality of the performances from the many talented actors. In the end, the seesaw balances its self out.

Looking at Matthew McConaughey's IMDB page, I see that it has been nine years since he was in Reign of Fire. That means it has been nine years since I have taken an interest in any of his performances. That is not to say he is a bad actor, he just hasn't done much to stretch his range. The Lincoln Lawyer gives McConaughey a chance to really act, and his performance shows that he relished the challenge. The character of Mick Haller is a defence attorney who spends his days in the back of a Lincoln town car moving from case to case. He is extremely good at what he does, and this leads him to a very high profile case. This case, tests everything that he believes in, shacking him to the core. McConaughey is at his best when he is playing Haller as a cool, smooth operator. When his character changes midway through the movie, his performances is a bit cheesy, but he is able to bring his performance back up for a strong finish.

It is extremely rare that I go into a film knowing nothing about it, but this film was such a case. When the opening credits rolled, I was very surprised at the calibre of actors appearing in the movie. Marissa Tomei, Ryan Phillippe, and with smaller roles William H Macy, Michael Pena, Josh Lucas, and John Leguizamo. That is an impressive list. All the perfomances are solid, but what I need to point out is William H Macy's hair and moustache. Actually, calling it hair is a disservice, it is a literal mane of hair. If you need a reason to see the film, there it is.

It really is impressive to see all these actors in one film, and they do a lot for this film. The style of the film, is rather lacklustre. The movie looks like any of the courtroom dramas that are on TV. The editing I found to be a bit disjointed, especially during an integral scene between McConaughey and Leguizamo. The movie runs about fifteen minutes to long, and there are multiple false endings. I feel that the movie is at its best when in the courtroom, so when the fact that the final courtroom scene isn't the end of the film, didn't sit well with me. The need for the film to connect everything throughout the film is the reason for the extended ending, and while this is necessary, it did hurt the film.

The performances do a lot, and make what would have been a sub-standard film good. The other aspects of the film though, keep it from being great.

A Good Banana

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