Jake Vig (Burns) is a consummate grifter about to pull his biggest con yet, one set to avenge his friend's murder. But his last scam backfired, leaving him indebted to a mob boss (Hoffman) and his enforcer.
Wendell Rohr is a torts lawyer taking on the gun lobby. Rankin Fitch is the jury consultant for the Defendants and between them the battle is for the hearts and minds of the jury. But there is someone on the inside. Nicholas Easter is a juror with a girlfriend, Marlee, on the outside. they have a past ..... and their own agenda. Written by
Interesting adaptation, quite different from Grisham's novel
This review is targeted at those who have read John Grisham's novel and might want to know how the movie compares to the book.
The largest and most controversial difference between the two is that while the trial in the book was about holding tobacco companies responsible for cigarette advertising, addiction, and lung cancer, the trial in the movie is a case of holding firearms companies responsible for encouraging guns to be sold to criminals. While the book centers around the law, as all Grisham novels do, the movie centers around gun control. Therefore, the movie can be quite political. Those who do not appreciate political statements in movies beware.
The movie spends a lot more time on Wendall Rohr and Rankin Fitch, the plantiff's lawyer and the defendant's jury consultant. While Rohr is a flat character hardly mentioned in the book, the movie characterizes him as a man who still possesses some sense of the ideal practice of law. Fitch, pitiable and even slightly likable in the book, is shown as an utterly malicious man in the movie. The members of the jury are definitely not shown much in the movie. We don't get to watch exactly how Nicholas Easter befriends each one individually, and we are told less about each jury member. The psychology that is in the book is largely absent from the movie and replaced with a few scenes of dramatic flair.
The casting of the movie was GREAT. When I heard there was a Runaway Jury movie, I immediately imagined John Cusack as Nicholas Easter. Rachel Weisz, Dustin Hoffman, Gene Hackman, and the actors who play members of the jury are almost as I pictured them as well! Because of this change in theme, the movie is much darker than the book. Extreme violence and arson make their way into jury manipulation. Fitch becomes a much more malevolent character. The ways in which members of the jury are bumped or released from jury duty are much darker than in the book. Little details that were altered to adapt to gun control instead of tobacco are interesting and appropriate. The movie is a different but well-done adaptation. Even if you don't enjoy the movie, it is interesting to compare it to the book.
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