Criminal Law

Ben Chase (Gary Oldman – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Sid and Nancy) is an up-and-coming Boston attourney who believes that the sky is the limit for himself. He really thinks he can do anything. After winning a high profile case in which he gets the wealthy young man, Martin Thiel (Kevin Bacon – Footloose, Hollow Man) off on a murder case. Thiel and his wealthy family are very thankful and Chase gets plenty of positive press.

Things drastically change for Chase when he realizes that Thiel is the vicious serial killer that has been terrorizing the public. Thiel does not even seem to want to hide it from Chase as he believes that he will defend him regardless. It becomes a cat-and-mouse game between the two men when Chase decides that he wants to help catch Thiel, but legally can't betray the client attourney privilege.

This is a tense thriller starring the quite young Gary Oldman and Kevin Bacon and directed by Martin Campbell (Casino Royale, The Mask of Zorro). In the beginning you will believe that the film has all kinds of potential and then about halfway through it will begin to bore you. Too bad because the premise is good and the actors involved are quite talented.

Campbell uses the simplistic imagery of fire and rain to portray the themes of the film. Maybe Campbell and the scriptwriter, Mark Kasdan (Silverado), should have more concentrated on the huge plot holes in the film. It begins to become ridiculous at a certain point and then you lose interest. Too much of the film is cheesy and overly simplistic. The attempt at a kinda film noir falls flat on its face. It even begins to feel at times like a made-for-TV movie. Not the highest of compliments in my book. The only reasons to watch the film are to see early performances by Gary Oldman and Kevin Bacon and that it was filmed in Westmount.

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