Movies: Fracture

If a man commits a brutal crime, but later confesses his guilt, does he go to jail? With a good lawyer and a convincing argument, you can weasel your way out of anything. At least, that’s what Hollywood would like you to believe in the latest blockbuster, “Fracture.” Directed by Gregory Hoblit (the same man who brought you the heart-pounding thriller “Primal Fear” and the less-than-stellar “Hart’s War”), “Fracture” tells the story of Ted Crawford (Anthony Hopkins). Crawford is a man who, after discovering that his wife is cheating on him, shoots her point-blank in the head. Without struggling, Crawford allows himself to be taken into police custody and completely confesses. Willy Beachum (Ryan Gosling), a hot-shot defense attorney, decides to take this seemingly simple case to court, only to find out that the supposed murder weapon has never been shot and the confession is no good in court. So, Crawford is released from jail, leaving Beachum searching for the “real” evidence. After watching “Fraction,” I can’t help feeling let down. With an amazing cast and a director well-versed in the thriller/suspense genre, I thought that “Fracture” would leave me feeling completely satisfied. However, there’s something about this game of cat and mouse that seems, well, tame. Now, don’t get me wrong, “Fracture” had a lot of good in it for a two-hour long movie, especially regarding the top-notch acting. Hopkins, in a cool, Irish accent, delivers all of his lines in perfect bad-guy fashion. After years of having played the roles of villains, Hopkins has perfected his art as an actor. He is just as good now as when he first began eating his colleagues in “Silence of the Lambs” and, trust me, that is saying a lot. In addition, Gosling fits the role of the lawyer seamlessly; he’s cocky, a little bit sleazy and totally entertaining. The duo works so well together on screen that one minute you’ll find yourself laughing and the next, completely disturbed. Which brings me to my next point – the script is simply awesome. It’s chilling when it needs to be, but witty enough for it to lighten the mood up a bit. There are definitely a few lines that I’m going to find myself quoting in the coming weeks (such as Hopkins’ creepy, soon-to-be-classic line, “Hello Willy-boy”). And with the great script comes some absolutely beautiful cinematography. Most of the shots are well-timed and really add to the unsettling mood of the film. With perfect sets and first-rate filming, “Fracture” is a simply gorgeous movie. But, even with all of the right parts, this movie still comes up short. Individually, every aspect is satisfying in one way or another. However, when it all comes together, you can’t help but feel that it is a pretty boring thriller. A suspense film is supposed to leave me hanging at the edge of my seat, right? But, for the first half of the movie, the plot barely crawls forward and I found myself looking at my watch, wondering when the plot was going to get exciting. After an hour and fifteen minutes, the action finally picked up and the film began to feel like a thriller. But, can you really call it a thriller if it only “thrills” you for thirty minutes? In my opinion – no. In fact, no movie should be so boring for so long. As an audience member, you completely lose the feeling of eeriness that was establish at the beginning of the film and find yourself tired of watching by the time the plot picks up. Suddenly, this two-hour long movie seems too long, and you just want it to end. “Fracture” is one of those movies that are good in concept but bad in execution. There was so much potential that was completely wasted. With an all-star cast, a grade-A script and beautiful cinematography, you would think that you couldn’t go wrong. But, as the movie’s own tagline suggests, “If you look close enough, you’ll find everything has a weak spot.” In the end, “Fracture” is a great story with so many cracks in it that it probably isn’t worth your time. Grade: 4-