reviewed by Andrew James
Hot off his fantastic performance in Half Nelson (our review), Ryan Gosling plays Beachum; a young, hot-shot attorney with a 97% conviction rate and a bright new shiny job with the most prestigious law firm in L.A. But before he can take on the new job, he's got one last case to finish for the D.A.'s office. An older gentleman by the name of Crawford (Hopkins), has shot his wife in the face and Beachum is sent to close the book on this seemingly open and shut case. But Crawford has much more up his sleave than at first meets the eye and is soon giving Beachum a run for his money.
Basically Fracture is just a battle of wits between these two characters. There is a needless love interest portion of the film that's there only to fill time and include an attractive female presence to the picture with Rosamund Pike (the best part of Pride & Prejudice). You'll find that about the only thing engaging about the movie as a whole, is the fact that you want to see what the next move is by the two players and who will come out victorious in each battle. Though you can see the ending coming a mile away, it's still a pretty big stretch and I left a little unsatisfied with the result.
There's nothing terribly interesting or special about Hoblit's directing style. He's simply there with a camera to show us what is going on. Maybe it's the movie snob in me that asks for just a little bit more from my films, but it felt that I was just screaming for something new and interesting. Granted this is more or less a courtroom drama and something new, flashy or arty might be distracting from the picture, but I still like to see something new and impressive; and though Hoblit might be trying in a "Hitchcock-ian" sort of way, it never really materializes.
What you've got here is basically a nice idea of a movie with a wonderful cast (rounded out by David Strathairn and Cliff Curtis) that moves at a slug's pace at times while somehow keeping our interest with the knowledge that something shocking or engaging is lying to be sprung upon us at any moment. Even with the predictability, Gosling and Hopkins manage to keep our interest and keep us on our toes. This is not a bad movie by any stretch, in fact, it's like I said, fairly engrossing. But ultimately it's nothing overly special that warrants a $10 trip to the theater. A nice Tuesday evening DVD rental would be well worth the effort though. Why Tuesday? Why not?
IMDb profile - full cast and crew
FLIXSTER PROFILE for Fracture