johnlink ranks REASONABLE DOUBT (2014)

Desperately needed a break from the horror genre. Stumbled across this film, REASONABLE DOUBT, which sounded like a half-decent thriller about a guy who feels guilty about a hit-and-run. To be honest, I’ll give any thriller a shot even if it sounds terrible.

ReasonableDoubt201400_zpsac2c8a5a

I watched REASONABLE DOUBT (2014) on 11.6.14. It was my first viewing of the film.

Mitch (Dominic Cooper) is a hotshot lawyer with a perfect career, perfect life, and a perfect baby girl. He makes a mistake one night and hits a guy with his car. Knowing he drank a little too much, Mitch drives off. The guy turns up dead in someone else’s car. That someone else is Clinton (Samuel L Jackson) who claims that he was just trying to help the poor victim. But, despite what seems like a lack of evidence, the authorities decide to prosecute Clinton. And who do they pick to be the trying attorney? Why, Mitch, of course.

That sort of unhappy coincidence permeates this film. While any cat-and-mouse sort of story requires some sort of happenstance, the series of events which take place in this film require an unbelievable suspension of common sense. And that doesn’t even count the ease with which Mitch, in a large city, easily breaks into the private office of a detective without anyone catching on, only to be foiled by a printer which doesn’t have enough paper in it.

The writing in this movie is too concerned with being cute, rather than being good. Sensible dialogue is traded for dialogue which constantly makes Mitch thinks people know things they don’t. Perhaps this is to mask that one character really does know, but there is little art in the crafting of the ‘gotchya’ moment.

Jackson seems to know he is in a paycheck movie. He doesn’t mail in the performance, but he doesn’t put any real effort in. Cooper wants to prove himself as a leading man, but the dialogue doesn’t support his efforts. There just isn’t much here. This is as vanilla as can be. When we watch a bad movie we remember it for a long time, when we watch a terribly bland movie we forget it before the week is out. It may actually be worse to be in the latter category, and REASONABLE DOUBT is. Heck, even its title is.

This sort of movie used to get made as a B movie or as a forgettable star vehicle. Now, this sort of story is usually regulated to a procedural TV show like Law & Order or NCIS. This script didn’t seem to warrant its own movie, and it probably doesn’t warrant your time.

SCORES

FILM: 4; MOVIE: 5; ACTING: 5; WRITING: 3

4+5+5+3+0=17

FINAL SCORE: 4.25 out of 10

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~ by johnlink00 on November 7, 2014.

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