Monday, May 07, 2007


Friday Movie Review (quite late)

Went yesterday with daughter Alex to Fracture, the new Ryan Gosling/Anthony Hopkins crime drama vehicle. I thought it was slick but silly, with horrible mistakes about the law and guns (as usual). I'll get to that. Hopkins plays the smug, superior psychopath he took a few times to the bank in Hannibal Lecter movies. Gosling overplays, but I still like him, just for The Believer.

OK, here's the plot. Hopkins, who is a talented kinetic sculptor and system failure engineer for aircraft, has a cheatin' wife and Hopkins, who apparently is unfamiliar with California family law, decides to pull off her perfect murder. And as with all perfect murders, he very nearly gets away with it.

There's a subplot about Gosling leaving the LA DAs office to go to a mythical big private firm but it has the emotional impact of a falling leaf so we won't mention it again. Let's dwell on the negatives.

OK, at one point, the lead detective, a Maori looking kind of fellow calls Gosling and tells him the murder weapon is no good because it has never been fired. What? It's not like they have a hymen. There's no real way to tell if a gun has ever been fired or not. I guess an absolute lack of powder residue would be a clue, but couldn't that just as plausibly be the result of a very thorough cleaning? And I hate to break it to the million dollar a script earning Hollywood writer, but the Glock gesellschaft test fires its guns, all of them--once at least to make sure it works and once to provide a sample cartridge (which the buyer throws away). It would necessarily have had to have been fired. (The better way to go would have been to say the dents in the primers of the recovered cartridges did not match the firing pin of the murder weapon). It was a Glock 21 in .45 APC, in case you missed it.

The trial court's suppressing both of the two confessions was bull pucky. Hopkins is armed and not in custody when the detective first speaks--difficult to believe he needs Miranda warnings or is under duress. He tells the detective that he shot his wife before he is assaulted by the detective so that one should not have been suppressed and would not have been in the real world, where getting to trial on attempted murder within a week or two of the crime in a major city is also pure fantasy.

The double jeopardy thing was OK, but if Gosling took the second confession, there's no way he's prosecuting. You can't be a witness and the prosecutor in a trial. Nowhere, no how. Stupid.

I have to admit that I figured it out early on, (kinda--I didn't know what Hopkins was doing at the hotel, but I got all the rest). So it was not all that mysterious nor tense, but there are plenty of people out there who quite liked it. I'm just not one of them. It's one hour 57 minutes long and drags from time to time. Still, at least it tries to be clever. I have not ruined anything in this review. You knew he wasn't going to get away with it.

UPDATE: The movie was like the machines Hopkins made with clever twists and turns, going nowhere.


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