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  1. Published on: 06/02/2018 08:38 PMReported by: Film Critic
    Plot: A socially awkward defense attorney gets involved in a series of events that forces himself to take extreme actions.

    When I heard about this and saw the trailer, everything about it had a 'true-story' feel to it, and yet it actually isn't.

    This is an original piece of work from Dan Gilroy, who debuted as a director with the highly entertaining Nightcrawler a few years ago.

    Now that I've seen Gilroy's latest feature, it seems the director likes doing stories that centre on socially awkward characters.

    Instead of a psychotic Jake Gyllenhaal, we get a schlubby Denzel Washington. The viewing experience is a peculiar one. It starts with an interesting premise that would probably sound better on paper, as the pacing and execution of it does not match the enjoyment you might expect from it.

    Thankfully, the performances keep moving it along.

    There are some shifts in the second half that did not quite work for me. This included one scene just before the final act that felt very strange and incoherent to me.

    It does lose its way by the time we get to the final act as it seems to be having a hard time tieing in all the loose ends and make it flow well. You can see what they were trying to do. But it just did not feel right in the end product.

    Denzel Washington is easily the best part of the film. He does a great job giving us a character that we now associate with Gilroy's film. I was happy that despite the film not be that memorable, Washington can still one of our most reliable actors working today.

    His chemistry with Carmen Ejogo's character was solid and intriguing to watch. Ejogo herself held her own become more and more interesting as the film went on.

    I had no idea Colin Farrell was in this, and I was happy to see him as he is a pretty consistent actor. He did a solid job in this one despite being under-written.

    There wasn't much wrong with the technical side of the film. However, there wasn't much exceptional stuff either. Everything was perfectly functional. It looked good, there were some moments of editing that meshed in well the soul inspired soundtrack which was a nice treat for the ears. There were also some good looking costume designs that might inspire various businessman when expanding their wardrobe.

    But sadly for a director who debuted with Nightcrawler, you do expect something that is gripping and entertaining. But the writing and pacing was disappointing first and foremost. It's a peculiar film and it has very interesting ideas with a strong cast and a breakthrough director and writer. It's not bad. It's just that the final product does not become completed fulfilled.

    This also might be my least favourite film involving Washington. However, on the performance side, he was really good and makes this film passable at best. He manages to keep you interested in the story and it prevents the film from falling in on itself.

    It only becomes more interesting when you read more about it afterwards. You could see some similarities from Nightcrawler throughout. But by the end of it, it just does not feel as impactful as Gilroy's predecessor.

    I feel this will do better on the small screen as very little of it felt cinematic. So if you are regular cinema-goer or a fan of Washington, then this might fit into your schedule. However, if you feel you need to choose wisely when attending your multiplex, then you might not want to consider seeing this.

    Rating: 7/10
     

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