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
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I was quite surprised at how much I enjoyed watching this film as I heard many positive critical reviews before going into it so I had high expectations to begin with. However I was not let down one bit since "Fracture" more than held its own. It contained a very simple plot structure but also offered a very original take on a different type of court case. While it might not be possible in real life, it worked magic on the big screen and transformed into an excellent film almost within the first few minutes.
Even though Sir Anthony Hopkins played a role almost exactly identical to that of his previous Hannibal Lecter, it was still great to see him back in this form because that's what I always thought he was best at: the maniacal genius. Although I will admit he does have an incredible range. He didn't add anything new to his character that we haven't seen him do before, yet I still loved watching him whenever he was on the screen. The big shock for me was Ryan Gosling. I knew he was a good actor and that he has been in some great movies but this was his best performance by far. He just calmly waltzed into each scene and was able to hold his own against the veteran Hopkins. Gosling's natural ability is simply breathtaking with how much of it he was blessed with. Any doubts of him I had before are now officially thrown out the window. The rest of the ensemble was at least adequate and the only one who I was a little disappointed in was Billy Burke since he didn't seem completely convincing.
There is somewhat of a twist waiting for the viewer at the final showdown and what I loved about it was it wasn't thrown in there for no reason. It actually went with the story, which is what's supposed to happen but hasn't lately in numerous other cases. It won't throw you for a complete loop but rather ties up some loose ends that had me scratching my head up until then. While there's elements of the legal proceedings that are completely Hollywoodized and could in no way happen in real life, I didn't seem to mind at all and was actually glad they did that. This was most likely because it flowed with the story and offered a fresh perspective.
"Fracture" will be one of those small cinematic feats that goes overlooked and prematurely fades into oblivion but for those that do get to see it you won't be disappointed. You may not agree with some parts and might even spot some dead on plot flaws, but if you can overlook that and instead focus on the film as a whole you are in for a treat. The courtroom drama is suspenseful and is presented just as it should be. The quips taken from both sides are clever and offer some well-timed comic relief. The love story while not necessarily essential didn't take anything away from the other parts either. Job well done to mostly everyone on this production, this was a tightly wrought law thriller that was no chip off the old block by any means!
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