A motorcycle stunt rider turns to robbing banks as a way to provide for his lover and their newborn child, a decision that puts him on a collision course with an ambitious rookie cop navigating a department ruled by a corrupt detective.
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
Willy Beachum: "I'm not going to play any games with you." Ted Crawford: "I'm afraid you have to old sport."
"Fracture" (2007) is directed by Gregory Hoblit who has also made "Frequency" (2000), "Fallen" (1998) both of which I like and "Primal Fear" (1996) - his feature debut that I love.
Crime /Thriller/Mystery /Court Drama are among my favorite genres and as long as the combination of these genres is clever, gripping, atmospheric, well acted, keeps me guessing and entertains me, I am happy. I know that many viewers were very insightful and figured out the twists and the ending within first half of hour or so but I did not and I was impressed by the way the disappearance of the crucial evidence had been handled - very clever. Besides being an entertaining crime movie, the most interesting element of "Fracture" is a struggle of wills and intellects between two main characters, self-made inventor
millionaire Ted Crawford (Anthony Hopkins) who shot his unfaithful
wife in the face and put her in a coma and young, successful and smart assistant D.A. Willy Beachum (Ryan Gosling), who has a 97% conviction rate and is assigned to prosecute Crawford just when he is ready to accept a lucrative offer from the prestigious LA law firm. The game of cat and mouse that highly intelligent and malevolent Crawford plays with Beachum makes the film interesting and the scenes between Hopkins (in his "playful Dr. Lector" mode) and Gosling (whose character does change as he realizes what he is dealing with from the unsympathetic self-centered hot shot to the man who becomes obsessed by the case, vows to put the murderer behind the bars and makes it his priority) - riveting and joy to watch. I also would like to mention David Strathairn as Willy's boss, DA Joe Lobuto in yet another understated effective performance. Strathairn's Lobuto is so interesting that he could be a main character in another move. "Fracture" is not perfect. For example, Willy's affair with Nikki Gardner (Rosamund Pike), a beautiful lawyer and his perspective boss was lifeless - they did not have any chemistry together. I think that Nikki's purpose in the movie was to introduce Willy to her father, a judge, whose help he would desperately need in one of the later scenes. I'd rather prefer more scenes between Willy and Crawford but even the way it was, the movie kept my attention all the way through and despite the rather weak ending, I found "Fracture" quite good.
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