I had not intended to see this movie which had been playing in Indonesian cinemas since last week. But my wife was intrigued by it and asked whether we should see it as some of her friends told her it was good while others say bad. So what better way for us to find out, other than seeing and judging it by ourselves? Well then it was decided that we would watch it last night and luckily there were some cinemas still showing them and one of them was one of our favorite place, i.e. at Lotte Avenue. Ok, let us move on to the movie now.
Brief Story Line
Ramsay (Keanu Reeves - The Matrix trilogy, Speed and many more) was a public defender who was tasked by his good friend, Mrs. Lassiter (Renee Zellweger - Bridget Jones' Diary trilogy, Jerry Maguire etc) to defend her son Mike Lassiter (Gabriel Basso - Super 8). Mike was a high school student who was accused of murdering his father Boone (Jim Belushi - Red Heat, Jingle All The Way etc) with intent and hence he was tried as an adult rather than as a minor.
Ramsay was having trouble in defending Mike since he did not want to say a word even to him. It was a good thing that he had another young lawyer named Janelle Brady (Gugu Mbatha-Raw - as Plumette in the live version of Beauty and the Beast) who was able to give him more insights through her talent and strength in determining if someone was actually lying. This would come in handy during witnesses testimony.
The prosecutor was Leblanc (Jim Klock) who was very confident of Mike's guilt and had carefully compiled all the evidence to support his prosecution. He also had a lot of witnesses that would be able to convince the 12 juries to convict Mike. Since the movie's whole plot was the case itself, it would be better if I do not disclose anything further to avoid any spoiler.
End of Brief Story Line
This movie was having a lot of screen time in the court room. The story of what actually happened were revealed little by little during the trial with the testimony of the witnesses and shown through flash back scenes. It was categorized as thriller as well as drama, which was probably true, though I could also say it can be categorized as a courtroom drama.
The movie tried its best to keep the audience guessing till the end which I think was the good part of the film. The courtroom scenes, despite being the majority scenes of the movie were unfortunately rather flat. There did not seem to be a lot of emotions or passions, unlike in other courtroom drama movies or series like The Good Wife. Perhaps it was due to the characters of Ramsay and Leblanc who were portrayed as the calm and not explosive type. But the lack of emotions here made the majority of the movie became a bit slow and less exciting.
Apart from the courtroom drama scenes, the movie's main attraction would be the star powers of Keanu Reeves and Renee Zellweger (who was surprisingly looked so much different from her previous appearance in Bridget Jones's Baby. In fact my wife and I did not really recognize her and only until we checked the cast of the movie that we were convinced). As a drama movie and supposedly thriller type it is not too bad, but as I said above, the courtroom parts were not really that interesting. It might even bore some people if they are not a fan of this type. Oh another thing, this movie also had some scenes which may be more suitable for adults. And I noticed that this movie was not based on any books, novels or whatever which meant that the writer must be credited for going for originality.
In conclusion, for those who are a fan of courtroom drama movie, this might not be too fulfilling to your thirst for a good one. Now if you like a bit of crime thriller type of movie, then this one can be an option. If you are a fan of Keanu Reeves and want to see something different from his more current action movies like in John Wick and its sequel, then you can definitely see this one as well. And if you are a fan of Renee Zellweger who was portraying a rather different character than what she usually did earlier, you can also give this one a try. But if you are not a fan of anything above, then this movie really would not be an option.
Mike's movie moments rating: 3 out of 5 stars