It’s ridiculous. We haven’t been to see a film for months and months and now this is the third in as many weeks! I’ve not read any of Michael Connelly’s books but we were attracted to this film because we thought it would be Grishamesque in style and with a good story to boot. Quite enjoyed most of the Grishams I’ve read or seen before.
Not sure that it’s that Grishamesque really, in many respects I think it’s better. It doesn’t get quite so bogged down in the mundane day to day aspects of being a lawyer, hard-nosed or rookie (they seem to be the only two types of practising lawyer). It is however a rattling good story, and I was kept fully entertained throughout. It has a nicely unexpected twist at the end, which I guessed just three seconds before its reveal. As well as the fast paced thriller aspect to the film it also dealt with some very interesting questions: how the rich can afford the best law money can buy and how it’s very different for the no-hopers with no cash; how the authorities try to load additional crimes onto people convicted of different crimes in order to clear up their solving rates – often ruining the case so that a guilty person gets off scot-free; and how sometimes defence lawyers end up defending someone they heavily suspect to be guilty. The story takes all these threads and more and it makes for a jolly good film.
I’m no expert on film acting but all the main parts seemed very well performed, Matthew McConaughey was on screen almost throughout and made the car-centric lawyer more than just a person who made things happen; and Ryan Phillippe as the guy he is called on to defend makes an excellent smug rich kid. These people are completely new to me by the way. I know that will surprise you.
I was reminded though of one of the reasons why I fell out of love with the cinema. In the first scene, the lawyer has a quick conversation with a member of staff who promises him a good case. At least I think that’s what happened, as I could not understand any part of the conversation. To me it sounded like a couple of American accents impersonating two other American accents without a discernable word between them. Is it just my oh-so-English brain, or do other people find it difficult to hear some conversations in films? It really annoys me when I think I’m missing what’s going on just because they murmur!!! It would never do on stage. Bring back elocution lessons!