Published Aug 27, 2007Gregory Hoblits Fracture might as well have been called Silence of the Lawyers. Its hard to watch wife killer Ted Crawford (Sir Anthony Hopkins) and not be reminded of Dr. Hannibal Lecter, at least on the surface. Both could be considered psychological rapists, though Lecter is more gore than grit. Both feature Hopkins as a brilliant criminal who commands fear with his words and wiles. Both also feature protagonists seeking justice while fumbling to dissect Hopkins mind. The main difference, of course, is this: Silence creeps up on you slowly, trying your patience before it eats you alive, while Fracture, conversely, swears to you that its full of pulse-pounding twists but all you get is an earnest brain-tease that is ultimately too smart for its own good. The story revolves around Willy Beachum (Ryan Gosling), a dainty young prosecutor with only two weeks left at his current job. When a high-profile law firm offers him a gig, Beachums ego takes a boost and his focus starts to drift. His last case before the move appears to be a no-brainer: wealthy engineer Ted Crawford has just been convicted of shooting his wife, who lays comatose in a hospital bed while the legal proceedings unfold. The film's opening sequences hint at what drove Crawford to attempted murder but one things for sure: we saw him do it. Or so we think. Crawfords devilish plan skews the blatant evidence and now nobody knows just what in the hell is going on. Granted, Hopkins and Gosling turn in solid performances, carrying most of the film with their Starling/Lecter to and fro. Goslings eventual mental torment comes at the hand of Hopkins psychoanalysis, steering us into familiar territory. Unfortunately, our supporting characters only exist to cramp the films style Willys new boss and expressionless love interest (Rosamund Pike), the near-laughable performance of the guy who plays El Padrino in Blow as a hopeless cop. In the end, the plot ends up being painfully linear: all the pieces seem to literally fall into place, leading to more cheap thrills than smarts. And dont expect much from the bonus features. All we get are two alternate endings (which make very little sense) and five deleted scenes (refer to alternate endings). Verdict: Youll have a lot more fun with Lecter than Crawford.