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Fracture - suspense DVD review
FRACTURE rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America rating: 3 stars
Actors: Anthony Hopkins, Ryan Gosling, David Strathairn, Rosamund Pike, Embeth Davidtz
Director: Gregory Hoblit   Studio: New Line Home Video
DVD release: 14 August 2007   Runtime: 113 minutes (1 disc)
Format: Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC
DVD features: Subtitles (English, Spanish), Audio tracks (Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and Stereo Surround), Deleted scenes/alternate scenes; Two alternate endings; Theatrical trailer

Directed by Gregory Hoblit, with a screenplay by Daniel Pyne and Glenn Gers, Fracture stars Anthony Hopkins (Silence of the Lambs, The Elephant Man) as Theodore "Ted" Crawford, a structural engineer who kills his wife Jennifer (Embeth Davidtz) after finding out she had an affair with a hostage negotiator Lt. Robert Nunally (Billy Burke). Ryan Gosling portrays William Beachum, a hotshot prosecutor who's won over ninety percent of his cases. Beachum is on his way up to a high-profile law firm, and this is his last prosecution case. On his way to a dinner party, Beachum is asked to handle what should be a routine procedure but turns into a fiasco as Crawford insists on repsrenting himself in court, with Beachum agreeing to do the case come Monday morning. It looks like a slam dunk deal; to give away any more of the plot would ruin the moderate value this flick has.

A lot of things simply do not work in this film. Ryan Gossling, who is a solid actor, is badly cast, or perhaps it is just the way the character was written. He is supposed to be a bright, sharp prosecutor, but he seems anything but. The character is lazy, careless, listless, and not at all tough. His mannerisms and way of speaking completely ruin the dynamic; the whole really almost becomes a farce, save the quality of actors involved. There was even one scene that made me wonder why this was shot. Once he gets to the dinner party, a woman comes up to him (she turns out to be his boss); he gets a cell phone call and starts to have a conversation that seems so inappropriately long, it feels like the movie is on hold while he speaks. Hopkins does his best and is mildly entertaining in the role, but he, too, is shackled by the screenplay. There is a courtroom scene so absurd that if you began this with the mindset of getting a deep, psychological thriller, it absolutely kills all hope.

I really wanted to like this film. I was hoping the mix of good actors would really create something special, but it doesn't. The film never really builds any momentum. Other than the really good scene where Crawford kills his wife, the movie lapses into bouts of staleness, and just when you think a particular scene will salvage it, you get something that doesn't quite cut it. The twist ending is mediocre at best, and the pace is uneven. There are some good moments in this flick. But they are followed by long stretches of nothing (it tries to be noir, but fails) with characters you want to care about but don't. There are bits and pieces here, but as a whole it didn't tickle my fancy.
reviewed by Bobby Blades
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