The Flick Chicks

Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

Fracture

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Judy Thorburn

Fracture

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"FRACTURE" VILLAIN'S FATAL DISTRACTION

Flick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil

Academy Award winner Anthony Hopkins and Ryan Gosling go head to head in this slick and absorbing psychological crime drama. Both actors are superb. Yet you can’t help but notice Hopkins might be getting typecast in a role that reeks of the cunning madman Hannibal Lector he has played more than once. Be that as it may, I couldn’t help but be completely drawn into the well crafted script by Daniel Pyne and Glenn Gers.

Ryan Gosling, one of the best actors of his generation and an Academy Award nominee last year for his excellent work in Half Nelson portrays smart and cocky Los Angeles attorney Willy Beachum. Willy is eager to leave criminal law behind as a winning Assistant District Attorney for the state with a 97% conviction rate, and start a new corporate position at Wootin Sims, where a gorgeous blonde partner in the firm (Rosamund Pike) has secured him a job. Only he can’t move on until he prosecutes one last case appointed by his boss (David Straitham) that at first appears to be easy. An attempted murder involves a wealthy aeronautical engineer, Ted Crawford (Hopkins) who has surrendered to the police and confessed to shooting his trophy wife (Embeth Davitz) point blank in the head inside their luxurious home after discovering she was having an affair with a cop, Lt. Nunnelly (Billy Burke), who just happens to be the arresting officer. Willie thinks this is an open and shut case and slacks off in the investigation, only to severely regret this mistake later. When lack of evidence leads to Crawford being acquitted a battle of wits emerges between the manipulating madman and the attorney as Willy begins his search for proof.

It’s not as if there is any doubt as to whether Crawford did it. He’s as guilty as sin and we know because the camera followed him as he meticulously set out and executed the heinous crime that put his wife in a coma. Acting as his own council in court, Crawford delights in watching his young prosecutor squirm as his case slowly falls apart. The gun found that was thought to be the murder weapon appears to have never been shot. In addition Crawford drops a bomb with the announcement that the cop who took his confession never revealed he was Crawford’s wife’s lover, a cause for the confession to be thrown out of court.

Embarrassed by not doing a thorough enough investigation and looking like a fool in court, Willy refuses to let it go. The D.A. tells Willy that letting Crawford walk means someone’s head will roll, and he doesn’t have to guess whose that will be. Losing the case also threatens Willy’s placement at the awaiting firm. In lieu of all this and Crawford’s proud gloating for getting over on him, Willy takes it as a challenged dare to make it right and uncover something he must have missed. That’s where the title Fracture comes into play. At one point Crawford says it himself: “If you look hard enough, you will find that anything has a weak spot where it can break”.

Most of the action takes place out of the court where the fascinating play by play ensues with two clever and brilliant people competing in a series of mind games. Crawford relishes the idea of taunting Willy while believing he is always one step ahead of the game. On the other hand, Willy, not used to losing and with much at stake, should never be underestimated. What we have are two characters on the opposite end of the law, yet similar in that they are both smart, arrogant and self confident.

The excellent dialogue is at times witty and the story is not only interesting but keeps you thinking about what is going on in the characters’ heads. I especially like the fact that unlike other crime thrillers that are predictable, this one is not. The mystery kept me guessing as to how Willy would discover the weak link, crack the case and bring Crawford down. In the end it only goes to show that being encumbered with obsessive thoughts of revenge can lead to a serious blunder in even the most calculated of schemes. On the other hand, obsession with getting to the truth and seeking justice proves to be rewarding.

I could have done without the unnecessary affair between the hotshot assistant DA and the beautiful (of course) female attorney that I see as pure Hollywood trite thrown in as a subplot. I don’t see why having a love interest for every male hero is a requirement. Other than that Fracture is close to perfect in every aspect: excellent cinematography, lighting, Gregory Hoblit’s stylish directing, and splendid acting by Gosling and Hopkins who are at the top of their game.

For those wanting a good brain teaser that will keep you on your feet, or in this case, in your seat, Fracture is an intelligent, solid piece of entertainment.

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