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Not Bad, But I'd Rather Read The Book
The Lincoln Lawyer (DVD)
Member Name: cazkins
The Lincoln Lawyer (DVD)
Advantages: Fairly good cast, well directed, good quality feel
Disadvantages: Lacked 'oomph', didn't quite live upto my expectations having read the book
I was in two minds about watching this film. Having read Connelly books before, including this one, I had pre-conceived ideas of what the scenes and characters would be like, and the protagonist as McConaughey just didn't seem to fit. Abandoning what I had expected and watching this as just any other film, however, it was a decent watch despite it not always being the most thrilling.
The Lincoln Lawyer is based on the Michael Connelly book of the same name. We're introduced to Mick Haller (McConaughey), a US defence lawyer who has spent years predominantly keeping scum out of jail. He is assigned to the case Jesus Martinez (Michael Peña) whom is sent to jail despite his insistence of innocence. Haller is pretty sure the evidence is against him so he accepts his role in making Martinez plead guilty to escape the death penalty. Although he lost the case, he's sure the right man went down. He's then assigned to a case that could make or break his career: a rich kid from Beverly Hills, Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillippe) is accused of the rape of a prostitute.
Haller puts together a picture of this brutal attack and decides that the woman's testimony is an attempt to get attention and money, and that Roulet was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. However, things aren't always as straightforward as Haller believes and after further exploration alongside his investigator Frank (William H Macy), his certainty wanes. Could the years of keeping the guilty out of prison have tainted Haller's decisions and judgements? Could his ability to read the signs, to read his clients and the evidence, lead him to commit the innocent to a life of undeserved torment whilst the real criminals roam the streets masked as the victims?
This film stars some top names, including Matthew McConaughey (Mick Haller), Ryan Phillippe (louis Roulet), William H Macy (Frank Levin) and others. The strong cast gives the film a sense of quality and credibility whilst making it easier to watch because it's made more believable by their performances.
The overall atmosphere is quite dark, and mysterious at times, and this helps to locate the premise within the crime/thriller genre. It didn't, however, keep me on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen next. Even without having read the book the unravelling of the truth didn't come as a surprise. The novel on the other hand portrayed the events in a more subtle way, making us empathise with the characters more and question what was really going on in a way that I felt the film failed to do.
I did find this watchable, but it lacked pace at points where attention could easily be distracted. It didn't particularly grip me and I didn't find the character depth or identification as strong as I had hoped. Having said that, I enjoyed the cast, the scenes, the premise and a few little things that were true to the book, such as the Lincoln in which Haller works out the back of.
For Connelly fans this may be a bit of a disappointment. Watching it without thinking about the novel made it more enjoyable to get absorbed into, but it did still seem to lack certain depth and energy that would have made it more thrilling and gripping.
2011, rated certificate 15
Selling on Amazon for £10.93
Summary: A good enough film but I'd still prefer the book