Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Lincoln Lawyer [2011]

Director: Brad Furman
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Marisa Tomei, Ryan Philippe, William H. Macy
Rating: General
Excerpt: "
Everything worked, this is an engaging courtroom drama worthy of its star-studded cast..."


Mickey Haller (Matthew McConaughey) is a morally-ambiguous and a street smart lawyer with clients from all walks of life, ranging from small-time thugs to biker gangs. Things begin to get a little out of the norm when he is chosen by Louis Roulet (Ryan Philippe), the spoiled son of a successful real estate broker who is accused of brutally beating a prostitute. What appears to be a simple case that would bring him fame and fortune, Haller quickly finds himself spiralling down a whirlpool of deceit and danger, not just for himself but also those around him.

What to Expect
1. A thriller that will just draw you in
2. The plot twists to actually be plot twists
3. Well-acted and well-directed
4. To not feel its duration

What NOT to Expect
1. Matthew Mac McCono McConaughey to be his usual self
2. Overly-technical courtroom drama

Looks like I might have to take back plenty of things I've ever said about Matthew MacConna McCono McConaughey. In fact, let's start with that. I shall from now on retire that whole joke about not knowing how to spell his name. Although I still maintain that he is number one on my list of most gratuitously shirtless guys. To his credit, however, I can't recall if he was bare-chested at any point in this movie.

If he didn't, well then it must have escaped me because I got too into the story to notice. Thanks to, in no small part, Matthew McConaughey's decision to finally take acting seriously for the first time in a very long time.

I feel it's a little important to stress on this because McConaughey had long been typecast as the romantic interest of Kate Hudson or Katherine Heigl in a series of eye-gougingly boring Chick flicks. Which I don't understand why because he's no Johnny Depp or, I dunno... Josh Duhamel, perhaps? Heck, he can't even compete with Aaron Eckhart. But then again, what do I know about guys?

So anyway, I must say it's very refreshing to see him show more expressions than he ever did, complementing the tone of the movie as a whole. As I've said earlier, the protagonist Mickey Haller is a morally ambiguous man - Well, you would have to be if you work as a criminal defense lawyer - whom you will see get haunted by his past career mistakes as the result of putting his reputation ahead of his client's interests. You will see him fall into depression while at the same time trying to employ his street smart ways in order to win the day.

You will see Haller do all that without a snigger at the thought of him being played by Matthew McConaughey. I guess what I'm saying is, there was no casting mistakes here. Combine that with the pacing of the movie, you might even forget about him altogether and just focus on the character.

And there's milfy Marisa Tomei, always a sight for sore eyes...
Story-wise, it would appear that every thriller out there are following some unwritten rule about plot twists being compulsory in the screenplay. I have no problem with that as long as it's not asinine or predictable, which defeats the purpose of having a plot twist at all. In the case of The Lincoln Lawyer, I suppose it is neither predictable or groundbreaking.

Like everything else in the movie, it simply 'worked'. So if you're expecting a plot twist that could rival that of The Sixth Sense [1999], then I would have to tell you it will never come. The plot twist(s) in this movie served the purpose of keeping you hooked and moving the story along instead of just messing with your expectations and try to give you an intellectual wedgie.

By the end of the movie, you'll see that there's nothing groundbreaking or mindblowing about the movie, but you'll be completely okay with it because the ride to the end was more than entertaining enough to leave almost nothing to be desired. After all, not every movie made have to be a masterpiece or an Oscar winner to be entertaining, and The Lincoln Lawyer is one of those movies.

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