Review by Jack Foley
THERE’S an extremely compelling case to be made for going to see Fracture, a slick legal thriller that boasts a neat premise, plenty of twists and a cracking cast.
Director Gregory Hoblit is no stranger to the territory having already impressed with Primal Fear. And just as Richard Gere and a young Ed Norton proved worthy adversaries in that thriller, so too do Anthony Hopkins and recent Oscar nominee Ryan Gosling in this.
Hopkins plays wily businessman Ted Crawford who shoots his wife (Embeth Davidtz) after discovering she is having an affair with a married police hostage negotiator (Billy Burke).
He subsequently confesses the crime to the negotiator and is arrested in what appears to be an open and shut case for hot-shot prosecutor Willy Beachum (Gosling), a cocky lawyer about to switch sides for a lucrative pay day.
But when Crawford decides to plead not guilty and opts to represent himself, Beachum has a fight on his hands to secure a conviction for attempted murder and save his own career and reputation in the process.
It’s an extremely fun set-up made all the more watchable by the quality of its cast.
Hopkins especially seems to be having fun playing off Gosling who, in turn, demonstrates why he has become one of Hollywood’s most sought after talents.
The two strike sparks off each other and clearly relish the opportunity to showboat afforded by Daniel Pyne’s taut screenplay.
There’s also strong support from Rosamund Pike, as Beachum’s cold-hearted new boss and potential love interest (complete with flawless American accent) and David Strathairn, as his former employer.
Eagle-eyed viewers may guess some of the plot twists along the way and there’s the odd duff moment (mostly involving Burke’s inept cop) but for the majority of the time Fracture passes the bar in exemplary fashion. The verdict is to go and see it.
Running time: 113mins