I Judge thee…mediocre.
All four of my regular readers will have heard me whine about how boring mediocre movies are to watch and (more importantly) to review. I don’t do this for money but because it is fun and when the writing becomes a chore I tend to have “What the hell am I doing with my life” moments. Movie that are great are fun to watch and decently fun to review and movies that truly suck are morbidly OK to watch (in the same way you slow down to check out a traffic accident on the side of a freeway) but super fun to review. However when a film opts to sit dead center on the fence (or in this case on the fence but lean pretty precariously over to the suck yard which in my neighborhood was ours) this job suddenly turns into a job.
I’m was at something of a loss as to how this film could have come out so poorly. It couldn’t have been cast better. Robert Downey Jr. is one of the modern great actors and Robert Duvall the consumante professional actor. The writer Nick Schenk wrote Gran Torino, one of my favorite films. Then I looked at the director David Dobkin, realized he directed the Change-Up and Jack the Giant Slayer and the mystery was solved. He seems to be the master of movies with an interesting idea and a few decent moments but then suck and die like a banana slug in a salt factory.
And this film did have a few good moments, almost all of them reserved to the courtroom. Most Americans enjoy a good court drama and have a love of seeing justice delivered (image courtesy of the Punisher t shirt category). The scenes where Robert Downey Jr. is in court trying to defend his father and out trying to solve the mystery of what happened are downright intriguing. You care about Robert Duvalls character and if you loved Tony Stark you are in for a toned down version of him as the worlds greatest defense attorney. The whole thing had a cool True Believer vibe (the James Woods True Believer. Great movie IMO) that was great.