2017 will see me watching some films that I have never seen before and then writing about them. It will be a series of columns cleverly called, “2017 First Watch.”
Despite exploring some interesting ideas in regards to class and the law (and approaching said ideas with an appropriately cynical attitude), this John Grisham adaptation largely falls flat despite game performances from all involved.
The best part about the film is the central idea that the law is really just a social construct manipulated to benefit those with power and to run over (whether purposely or not) those without.
That idea is not fully captitalized on though here as the narrative oftens feels contingent upon a lot of unnecessary stubborness to drive it forward. If the movie is about the story getting from Point A to Point B (which one could argue is *not* what the film is actually about, I suppose), then the characters focused on force us to take the most roundabout journey possible to get there.
You cannot help but feel like the characters could have figured out all the dilemnas in the first five minutes if everyone was not so conditioned to be self-involved and stubborn. Fair or not, that makes the film and its characters seem a bit more frustrating than they deserve even though that does rather accurately capture some of the pitfalls of humanity.
Recommendation: You can safely skip this one.