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Rated PG-13; running time of 125 minutes
Written by: Brian Koppelman & David Levien and Rick Cleveland and Matthew Chapman
Directed by: Gary Fleder
Cast: John Cusack, Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman, Rachel Weisz, Bruce Davison, Bruce McGill, Jeremy Piven, Nick Searcy
WARNING - SPOILERS BELOW.
A disgruntled employee walks into a stock brokerage firms and open fires, killing 11 people - including Jacob Woods (Dylan McDermott). Jacob was a young father and husband who had just celebrated his sons 5th birthday the night before. His devastated widow assault rifles so easy to procure. She hires Wendell Rohr's (Dustin Hoffman) law firm to handle the case and two years later they are now in court. If the widow Wood wins this case it will set a precedence that will launch countless lawsuits and bankrupts the gun manufacturers. It is this fear that has the gun company's pulling out all the stops to win this case.
They will stop at nothing so it seems like a godsend when they find out that there is someone on the jury who wants to play. For 10 million dollars this person will make sure the jury votes in favor of whichever side pays up. Nicholas Easter (John Cusack) is that person on the jury. With the help of his girlfriend Marlee (Rachel Weisz) they are guarantee votes for cash, but the defense has hired Rankin Fitch (Gene Hackman) as a jury consultant and he doesn't take to kindly to being toyed with. He prefers to find dirt on the jurors and blackmail them into voting for his side.
As the trial nears t0 its end, which side will succumb to the temptation and buy the jury? Will Rankin find out the truth behind Nicolas and Marlee in time to save $10 million and still win the trail the old fashion way -through trickery and deceit?
Yawn. I can't remember if the book wowed me or not, but what I do know is that this one did not thrill me the The Firm, The Client, and Pelican Brief did. I walked away from those movies feeling satisfied and happy with the money I had spent. I can't say the same for Runaway Jury. Had I paid to get in, I would have been irritated that I hadn't gone to a matinee. Rankin Fitch wasn't devious enough. Wendell Rohr didn't provoke any positive feelings from me and I had no sympathy for Nicolas Easter or his plight. If I remember the book correctly, a lot of the book was focused on the juror and their flaws. I seem to recall being privy to quite a bit of the deliberations in the jury room. All that was missing here. I'm not sure how this movie was about a jury when we hardly ever hear from them or see them.
It was rather disappointing.
Nothing in this movie moved me in one way or the other. Everything from the acting to the directing to the script was just "blah"
A decent Sunday diversion, but you can wait until it come out on tape/DVD.
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Copyright Kamal "The Diva" Larsuel-Ulbricht, 2003