Wealthy, brilliant, and meticulous Ted Crawford, a structural engineer in Los Angeles, shoots his wife and entraps her lover. He signs a confession; at the arraignment, he asserts his rights to represent himself and asks the court to move immediately to trial. The prosecutor is Willy Beachum, a hotshot who's soon to join a fancy civil-law firm, told by everyone it's an open and shut case. Crawford sees Beachum's weakness, the hairline fracture of his character: Willy's a winner. The engineer sets in motion a clockwork crime with all the objects moving in ways he predicts. Written by
When structural engineer Ted Crawford (Anthony Hopkins) learns his wife is cheating on him, he concocts the perfect murder to get revenge without being caught. Assigned to the case is hotshot attorney Willy Beachum (Ryan Gosling) who is ready to leave the D.A's. office to join a big money legal firm, but when he's challenged by Crawford's case, he's willing to risk everything to prove the man is guilty.
Given the talented cast, Fracture should have been more than a by-the-numbers thriller but that's exactly what it was. It features a few good performances although they are working with some unremarkable material and can't quite lift the film above mediocrity. The uninspired direction was a bit surprising given the track record of director Gregory Hoblit. He managed to keep things safe and predictable without really adding anything special to the film. I guess he was relying on the strength of his cast which only worked to an extent. The scenes with Gosling and Hopkins were interesting to watch but whenever Hopkins was absent, the film seriously dragged and Gosling's character was really unlikable so it was hard to root for him.
The screenplay was only average with some decent dialog being the highlight of it. The way the screenwriter played out the crime was very formulaic and pretty predictable. The ending was fairly obvious from the beginning and it wasn't a big twist ending that makes the viewer feel smart for figuring it out but rather it was an ending that makes the viewer wonder how these supposedly smart characters weren't able to figure it out. So save for some scenes with Gosling and Hopkins, the audience gets to watch a bland story unfold without any real sense of interest.
Luckily, the casting director did a great job and the performances were able to save the film. Anthony Hopkins was playing a familiar character yet it was still great to watch him on screen and he was the best part about the movie. Ryan Gosling was also pretty good and he managed to keep up with Hopkins. Rosamund Pike was decent, a bit dry though. I really liked Embeth Davidtz and it's such a shame that she didn't get a lot of screen time although this was expected. David Strathairn was decent although a bit wasted with an undeveloped character. Overall, Fracture features a strong cast stuck in average material and it ends up being forgettable. Rating 6/10
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