Sunday, July 15, 2007

'Fracture' just can't be healed

** out of ****

Fracture plays it straight, among a realm of thrillers with twists that don’t make much sense (Premonition, The Reaping, Perfect Stranger). Though, playing it straight all the way through may not be a good idea either.

Ryan Gosling (Half Nelson, The Notebook) plays Willy Beachum, a young hot shot assistant D.A. on the fast lane, who takes the case of Ted Crawford (Anthony Hopkins). Crawford, a construction engineer, attempted to kill his wife, Jennifer (Embeth Davidtz) sending her into a coma, after finding out that she was having an affair. With a signed confession the case seems like an easy win for Willy, who has an outstanding 97% conviction rate.

When Ted reveals, during trail, that his arresting officer, Rob Nunally (Billy Burke), was the man having an affair with his wife the case goes into a dramatic tailspin. The confession can’t be used and the gun that Ted used against his wife can’t be found, therefore he walks off a man free.

Beachum and Nunally know that Crawford killed his wife and they won’t stop until he is behind bars. Providing for a soul searching balance of truth or justice.

Although the audience knows what is happening every step of the way, the thrill is supposed to be how Beachum will find evidence to convict Crawford or how Crawford will get away with it. The thrill however gets old lessening the suspense and the final impact of the film. If Fracture were a 60-minute TV show it would be a nail bitter, but one thrill and no twists aren’t enough to carry a 112 minute movie.

Gosling does a great job verbally sparring with Anthony Hopkins, but Hopkins steals the show. Playing Crawford with the same intense charisma and wit as Hopkins own, Hannibal Lecter, every scene he is in is enticing.

Director Gregory Hoblit does a pleasant job, but doesn’t do anything that makes Fracture notable. Writers Daniel Pyne and Glenn Gers make a wonderful screenplay that is both witty and clever with snappy dialogue.

Fracture has a good premise but has nothing that makes it stand out among must-see films.
Starting off good Fracture gets worse and the “cast” can’t heal it either.

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