Fracture Gregory Hoblit

Fracture Gregory Hoblit
There’s not a lot I can say against Fracture; by the standards of big studio courtroom thrillers, it’s more credible and less ridiculous than most of its ilk. Alas, its total lack of finesse ultimately negates its neater virtues. The film begins with the knowledge that Anthony Hopkins has just shot his wife in the face. Ryan Gosling is the hotshot D.A. assigned to the case; as he’s waiting to be picked up by a rich law firm, he takes it assuming it will be an open-and-shut, done deal. Gosling is totally unprepared when the murder weapon disappears and the investigating officer turns out to be the victim’s lover; it begins to look like Hopkins just might walk, even though logic dictates that he had motive and opportunity. To be sure, the plotting of the film is airtight and if it digresses with an unlikely romance between Gosling and his superior at the law firm (Rosamund Pike), it’s full of more clean lines and sharp corners than Hollywood films usually are. Unfortunately, Gregory Hoblit directs with such bland indifference that it’s hard to get too hot and bothered. He takes what might have been a highly charged movie and makes it less than the average episode of CSI, one is so detached from the action (and its themes of wealthy pragmatism versus low-paid idealism) that one barely notices a movie at all. Though it’s nice to see Hopkins doing something other than the patrician bores he’s usually handed (and Gosling makes a deeply weird foil to his cagey madness), it’s still a barely passable film that might have been more in the right hands. (Alliance Atlantis)