Saturday, December 10, 2011

From the DVD Vault: The Lincoln Lawyer

Mark and I watched The Lincoln Lawyer the other night, the film starring Matthew McConaughey and based on Michael Connelly's best selling book. All his books are best selling books.
Mark wasn't enthusiastic about it beforehand, as McConaughey is generally known as the kind of actor who takes his shirt off at the drop of a hat. But, once he saw Marissa Tomei, he started paying attention. Not because she's a hottie, she's just genuinely so good at what she does.
In the film, MConaughey plays Mick Heller, a smart ass defense attorney who is clearly in it just for the money. McConaughey with his slow drawl and huge dose of smug confidence is perfectly cast. I don't find the actor likeable; he just looks like a self-satisfied jerk, and so does the character, so it works. He leaves one of his clients rotting in jail, telling the judge he needs more time to build his case, because he hasn't been paid enough. Nothing noble about this guy at all. But in this case, it looks like he's the one who is going to be screwed by his client, a wealthy young man accused of rape and murder played to evil perfection by Ryan Phillipe. We both ended up enjoying the film with its satisfying ending and character arc from Heller (McConaughey won us both over) and could see why they've decide to make it into a series!
Heller drives around in an old Lincoln (hence the name) driven by a streetwise but loyal and goodhearted chauffeur (Laurence Mason). William H. Macy is super as his scruffy haired investigator - you aren't sure why he cares about Heller except they go back years. His ex-wife - Tomei's part - is a prosecuting attorney so the two are constantly at odds but just as constantly attracted to each other. So it's a sexy push pull throughout. A motorcycle gang ala the Hell's Angels - with Trace Atkins as its' leader - does him favors. John Leguizamo plays a small part as a semi-sleazy bail bondsman. Bryan Cranston plays a Heller-hating cop and Josh Lucas, a prosecuting attorney looking for a little limelight of its own. Definitely an interesting cast of characters to build a tv show around!  McConaughey won't be in it of course but fans shouldn't worry; plans are already in the works for The Lincoln Lawyer 2.

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