|Writers:||Glenn Gers, Daniel Pyne|
|Cast:||Anthony Hopkins, Ryan Gosling, David Strathairn, Rosamund Pike, Embeth Davitz, Valerie Dillman, Billy Burke|
|Released:||Monday, August 20, 2007|
|Studio:||New Line Cinema|
|Rating:||Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.|
Academy Award winner Anthony Hopkins and Academy Award nominee Ryan Gosling are brilliant in this "exceptionally suspenseful nail-biter" (Rex Reed) that's so smart it "doesn't let go, even after the final twist" (Gene Shalit, "Today"). Ted Crawford (Hopkins) brutally murders his wife and calmly waits for the police to arrest him. With the weapon and a signed confession in hand, Deputy D.A., Willy Beachum (Gosling), believes a conviction is a slam dunk; that is until the case completely unravels. Now, with little evidence, Beachum goes head to head with the cunning Mr. Crawford in a desperate search for the truth and the answer to one burning question: How is this guy getting away with murder?
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Anthony Hopkins plays a brilliant psychopath who coldly murders his cheating wife. He then has to face off against Ryan Gosling, a go-getter prosecutor, who is about to make the leap to the big-leagues in a private firm and decides to take the last case (Hopkins') because it looks like a slam dunk! After all, they have the murder-weapon, motive, and a confession!
What could possibly go wrong!? What could go wrong is that Hopkins, an aeronautics engineer, knows how "everything breaks", and he has planned his killing to take advantage of everything from his prosecuting attorney to the cop that will arrest him. What looks like a slam-dunk case, falls apart; and Ryan's bright future with the big firm is cast into doubt. The core of the movie is a court-room drama where the cops try to do their best to find key evidence, and Ryan matches wits against Hopkins.
Hopkins is, of course, the iconic choice for a brilliant killer, and he gives the movie its dramatic engine with all cylinders firing. If he is almost "too-leading" a choice, I submit that it could be that, as it may it isbecause he is so good there. If he is typecast, I suppose we, the viewers, are the better for it. The movie, however, avoids greatness because while there are some actual surprises -- it does, when all is said and done, pretty much firmly fit the mold of a Hollywood plot.
It is not much deeper than an episode of CSI once you take away the (considerable) star power. I was also a bit perplexed by the sudden romantic relationship between Ryan and Rosamund Pike who plays Ryan's new boss at the super law firm. In the movie, it is clear that these attorneys are predatory. In fact, Ryan gets his interview at the firm by being a shark and doing something quite unlikable. The relationship, however, is pure office-politics -- a superior sleeping with a subordinate. In this case, the genders are reversed, but the movie doesn't seem to get this and plays it off as a natural romance. She even takes him home to her parents -- who seem like they would be wise enough to question the relationship.
All that aside though, the story is watchable, and Hopkins and Gosling generate enough heat to keep it going. What about the extras?
Included on the Blu-Ray are two alternate endings. Neither materially change the story; they just alter (slightly) how you get there. It is clear from the one they chose that they felt the audience needed things explained to them more and needed to villain-up Hopkins more than he already was. They also needed to make darn sure we got more closure than the first two gave us.
While I'm a decent fan of closure and do not mind making my bad-guys bad, to me this reinforced that Fracture was a Hollywood product. I would prefer movies overestimate my intelligence rather than underestimate it if I had to choose.
There are also some bedroom scenes between Rosamund and Ryan on the disc that didn't make it in the movie and some introductory scenes. I think that looking at the movie's pacing as a whole, they were right to be cut the scene out. There is no director's commentary which would have been nice since I wondered about a couple of things while watching: Are we supposed to sympathize with Ryan for wanting the prestigious job or dislike him for selling out the position as being a low-paid public servant? If it is supposed to be ambiguous, why have him pull an unlikable stunt to get that job?
Visually Fracture is rich -- the colors are saturated, the print looks amazing. The look of the movie involves these rolling-ball-structures that Hopkins' character allegedly builds as a hobby. (According to IMDB, they are really built by Dutch artist Mark Bischof.) They are striking looking and kinetic, and the movie is better for their inclusion. Seeing Fracture on Blu-Ray will enhance the experience substantially.
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