By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
By Claire Lawton
By Kiernan Maletsky
By Anna Merlan
What's more, Eastwood has always played the dinosaur, and from the general lack of sharpness in nearly every aspect of the film, it seems as if he is almost as bored with this idea as we are. Nearly every aspect of the picture feels recycled. The scenes of agitated bantering between Everett and his editor are macho pissing contests of the sort that we used to see when Eastwood was called on the carpet as a detective by a higher-ranking officer who is sick and tired of watching him turn the streets of the city into a shooting gallery. Throughout all this, the only emotion Everett shows is irritation. During the jailhouse interview he has with Beachum, he seems completely indifferent to the answers Beachum gives. When Beachum and his wife ask whether he believes their story, Everett turns around and growls back his answer. It's as if Everett had an afternoon tee-time and the interview was causing him to be late.
The whole project feels lazy and half-hearted, not least of all the finale, in which Everett tries to beat the clock by driving the woman who has the one piece of evidence that might save Beachum to the governor's house so that he can make that all-important, last-minute call to the prison before the clock ticks its last tock. By that point, though, whatever it was they were pumping into Beachum's arm looked mighty good to me.
Directed by Clint Eastwood. Written by Larry Gross, Paul Brickman, and Stephen Shiff. Starring Eastwood, James Woods, Isaiah Washington, Denis Leary, Lisa Gay Hamilton, Penny Rae Bridges, and Diane Venora. Opens Friday.
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