A David and Goliath law drama about a drug-addicted lawyer who takes on a health supply corporation while battling his own personal demons.A David and Goliath law drama about a drug-addicted lawyer who takes on a health supply corporation while battling his own personal demons.A David and Goliath law drama about a drug-addicted lawyer who takes on a health supply corporation while battling his own personal demons.
A brave attempt to make an edgy drama from a current social event, mixing personal intensity with a critique of corporate greed and ethical inertia.
On that score, it might be loosely compared to the 1996 "The Insider," which focused on the tobacco industry. Here it is the hospital and pharmaceutical world. The trigger is a nurse who gets an accidental needle stick, and even though there was and is a solution to most needle sticks, the industry has been slow to change, at the peril of many lives.
The personal side of this is based on the lead lawyer who takes the case of this nurse, which leads to a general uncovering of the problem and a pressuring of the industry almost single-handedly. It also turns out that he's a total coke addict, and his life is in overdrive all the time, with the necessary crashes along the way. The actor here is Chris Evans, who reminded me a little of a young George C. Scott, but without the depth of character Scott managed to bring with his acidity. Evans is key here, and not quite enough. The movie holds him more than he drives the movie, mostly because he has a kind of blankness inside, a practiced intensity rather than a really out of the box abandonment we might find irresistible.
So why watch? Mostly for the plot, the story as it develops and reminds you of how the world works, and how some people have ideals that make them ignore the resistance of the rest of us. The only problem with this is that it's a story we've seen before, in the outline. It needs to be known and told, for sure, but maybe a twenty minute spot on Sixty Minutes might serve the cause best. Here, the drama and the social justice are jammed together into a single, overlong, somewhat predictable movie. Good might not be good enough.
- Apr 29, 2012