Thursday, March 17, 2011

Matthew McConaughey and a Car

With The Lincoln Lawyer, the film based on Michael Connelly’s award-winning 2005 novel of the same name, opening at a big screen near you tomorrow, reviews are appearing from various sources. Not the least of these is the one over at our sister publication, The Rap Sheet, where discussion of work of Michael Connelly in its various forms is nothing new.

Today Rap Sheet contributor Brandon M. Leonard weighs in on the film version of Connelly’s book. Though there are places where he spots weakness in the movie, overall he likes it well enough to recommend a few hours in the dark:
Ladies and gentlemen, Eddie lives.

After years spent in the B-movie wilderness, Michael Paré, the star of Eddie and the Cruisers (1983) makes a triumphant return as Detective Kurlen in The Lincoln Lawyer, the big-screen adaptation of Michael Connelly’s 2005 Edgar-nominated novel, scheduled for release tomorrow. While he’s no longer the James Dean-throwback that he once was, he’s not a bloated monstrosity à la Mickey Rourke either, and he brings a gruff effectiveness to his role. One of the many pleasant surprises in this new film was seeing Paré use the same low-key, tough-guy charisma on Ryan Phillippe and Matthew McConaughey that he once used to face Willem Dafoe in 1984’s Streets of Fire (also known as the best movie ever made--take that, The Rules of the Game!).

”Pleasant surprise” is an excellent way to describe The Lincoln Lawyer, starring McConaughey as Connelly’s series criminal defense attorney, Michael “Mick” Haller (changed from “Mickey” in the original novel). After an excellent opening credits sequence by Jeff McEvoy, set to Bobby “Blue” Bland’s soul classic, “Ain’t No Love (In the Heart of the City),” the film wastes little time throwing us into the life of Mickey Haller and the case that will fuel the plot. While the original novel takes a few chapters to establish Haller and his world, in the movie it’s developed alongside the case of Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillipe), a rich young man accused of attempting to murder a prostitute. This new balance might give fans of the novel whiplash, but screenwriter John Romano balances plot and character with a comfortable ease.
The piece in its entirety includes much insight and many asides and it’s here.

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