Matthew Modine stars as “Mac” McCain, an emotionally crippled attorney who has lost his family in an accident. The movie opens with Mac holding a gun to his own head – then the phone rings.
That’s the first cliché in what I’d have to say is a fairly clichéd movie. I always love a good court room drama but, sadly, this isn’t quite up there with A Few Good Men, and Modine is no Tom Cruise. The courtroom trial, in which Mac defends a young man facing the death penalty, is too one-sided to draw out any real tension.
However, like all good courtroom dramas, there’s a twist at the end and it’s worth hanging on to find out what it is.
On the plus side, it’s filmed and well acted, and set in the American South. (Why are courtroom dramas always set in the South?) It tackles some important issues such as dealing with personal grief and finding faith in the midst of despair, which presumably is why it is being promoted as a Christian movie – that, and the refreshing absence of swearing, sex and gore.
So long as you don’t set your expectations too high, it’s one to be enjoyed as a family with the older kids.
– Duncan Pardon
• Rated M. DVD supplied by Life Resources Ltd, Christchurch.
Phone 0800 895 172 or email www.lr.org.nz.