What movie was that...?

29 April 2011

The Lincoln Lawyer

directed by Brad Furman

It’s an airport novel turned disposable entertainment, plain and simple. I do not begrudge films like this because, after all, that’s what film was first and foremost designed to do, entertain. I have said it before: the world of film needs people like Merion C. Cooper just as much as it needs people like Orson Welles. But let’s get one thing straight: I am not asserting that Brad Furman is another Merion C. Cooper. I suppose Steven Speilberg or (shudder) James Cameron would be the Coopers of our generation, but I digress… The Lincoln Lawyer, based on the book by Michael Connelly (give it a read the next time you’re waiting for a flight), tells the story of defense lawyer Mick Haller, slick shit defender of moneyed scumbags and high profile lowlifes around Los Angeles. When Haller takes a job defending a rich realtor (Ryan Phillippe), he finds that the quest for the truth can be a dangerous one, indeed. All the actors sink their teeth into roles that call for not much more than a rudimentary grasp of the acting craft, which makes the film way more enjoyable than the dross it could have potentially been. Matthew McConaughey is back, baby (alright, alright) as Haller, strutting his shit like Mitchum in his prime. Please, Mr. McC, please say no to Failure to Launch 2: Still on the Launch Pad if it ever comes your way. William H Macy rocked, and Marisa Tomei was fantastic, John Leguizamo ruled (but he always rules) and Phillipe was excellent. And I cannot tell you how excited I was to see Michael Paré back in action, in an actual credible movie. Be still my heart. I actually let out a small shriek in the auditorium. All in all, The Lincoln Lawyer was exactly what I expected, good old fashioned escapist film fun at its finest, expertly packaged and tightly directed. I would totally watch another Mick Haller installment after this (I’ve been told there are more books featuring the character), as long as Wooderson on the job, that is.

PS Those of you who are saying “Who the hell is Michael Paré?” right now need to watch Eddie and the Cruisers, Streets of Fire, Bad Moon and The Virgin Suicides immediately.   

7 comments:

  1. Great blog, I love the look. And nice review, I really want to see this one

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  2. Thanks for the comment, Matt! I really enjoyed this film because it didn't pretend to be anything heavy or profound, just fun. Thanks for stopping by.

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  3. I thought the same, actually. I enjoyed this, to an extent, because I like the genre (ah, the early nineties was such a good time for them...).
    I also had to blink before I recongnised Pare (Streets of Fire takes me right back to my earlier days: "Are we gonna do it or are we gonna talk about it?", etc).

    Last thing, it's nice to see someone else digs the Titus Andronicus record.

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  4. It's always nice to meet another Michael Pare fan, and a Streets of Fire fan! Virtually none of my film friends on this side of the Atlantic have even heard of, let alone seen, this neglected gem. I too have a soft spot for this genre, and I feel like it has been too long since a competent one like this has come out.

    As for Titus...
    I have nagged my little brother for years about the merits of Titus Andronicus, but it wasn't until January that I received a message from him that read: Just listened to The Monitor. Holy Hell.

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  5. I'm sorely tempted to dig out SoF again now, actually. I probably haven't seen it in 20 years. I remember Defoe's bin-liner outfit, and the fantastic music of The Blasters. Now that'd be an interesting review...Jim Steinman's pomp and a sulty (young) Diane Lane.

    The Enemy is Everywhere...

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  6. As I say to anyone borrowing such films as Hell Comes to Frogtown or They Live! from my collection: Films like SoF must always be watched with the right pair of eyes, otherwise the magic is lost. I very much enjoy your blog. I feel like we would make a compatible pair of film goers. Take care.

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  7. I've bookmarked yours, too - anyone who lists the Jim White doc in their favourites is all right with me, I love that guy's music.

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