JT Film Review

73 – Fracture (2007)

Fracture REVIEW

3.5/5 stars

Director – Gregory Hoblit

Cast – Ryan Gosling, Anthony Hopkins, David Strathairn, Rosamund Pike,  Billy Burke, Embeth Davidtz, Cliff Curtis

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Fracture is a mostly successful thriller from the director of Hart’s War and Primal Fear. It features the Great Anthony Hopkins as Ted Crawford, a man who killed his unfaithful wife and Ryan Gosling as Willy Beachum, the ambitious and young (is there any other type?) attorney who is assigned to prosecute him.  Crawford regularly taunts Beachum, sending him things in the mail, trying to spook him; while Beachum digs to find anything with which to convict him. The intellectual battle between the two of them is the main focus of the movie.

Fracture starts off quite well. After some excellently shot driving sequences and a brief scene showcasing Crawford’s job as an aeronautical engineer, we are actually shown Crawford’s wife cheating and then getting shot. The fact that we know that Crawford is guilty, and that we have seen him carry out the murder in a quite chilling and cold-blooded manner, builds up his character and makes us root (and fear for) even more for the protagonist, Willy Beachum.

The film unfortunately starts to lose ground about half an hour in. The plot is bogged down with a couple extraneous side-plots, and towards the end of the movie when it starts navel-gazing a bit too much. We have been told that Willy will lose credibility and most likely even a new job if he loses the case, yet we are constantly given scenes where he worries about it, then a scene where he is told that he’s worrying too much, then a scene where he tells someone he is worrying too much, etc. We got the point the first time, and while a little repetition of a theme can sometimes be good, here it is just like a hammer hitting us over the head. Repeatedly. It drags the pace down considerably as well. Ryan Gosling is a good actor, and he manages to muddle through these scenes, but he doesn’t quite save them.

Anthony Hopkins really shines in his role also, and it is a pity that there isn’t more of him in the movie. He can do heartless yet compelling murderer like very few others. (He was Hannibal Lector, after all.) A strong villain really makes a good thriller (we’ve seen this most prominently in superhero movies) but here we want to see more of him. What comparatively little screen time he gets though, is thoroughly enjoyable.

OVERALL

Fracture is a 3 star movie which is made a 3.5 by its stars. Anthony Hopkins is unbeatable, and Ryan Gosling more than adequately gives us a leading man to choose from. The plot is fairly interesting, but we are left with a hunch that the details of the crime and the solving of said crimes wouldn’t quite hold up to closer inspection. However the ride is, for the most part, enjoyable.

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TRAILER

“Fracture” on other websites:

IMDB —– Rotten Tomatoes —– Wikipedia

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January 26, 2010 - Posted by | 3.5 Stars, Film Review, Genre - Thriller, Year - 2000-2009 | , , , ,

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