Dave White
Fracture Review

Dave's Rating:

2.0

… you've seen this all before …

Who's in It: Anthony Hopkins, Ryan Gosling, David Strathairn, Embeth Davidtz, Rosamund Pike

The Basics: Supergenius engineer guy Hopkins supergeniusly engineers the perfect murder of his adulterous wife, Davitz (she was in Schindler's List, in case you forgot). Then, because he's a control freak, he defends himself in court against young, cocky prosecutor Gosling and does a pretty good job of outsmarting the competition. But because this is a cat-and-mouse movie, you just know that Gosling has an endgame up his sleeve. Otherwise, it would just be all cat.

What's the Deal? Wow. Another movie where Hopkins plays a supergenius murderer who lives in an expensive, sophisticated house and then toys with the police and the lawyers, basically daring them to find the fracture in his story. How many scripts like this do you think clutter his agent's inbox? Do they just throw them all in a swimming pool, and the one that floats longest is the one they retrieve and say yes to? Whatever the process, you've seen this all before, and you'll wonder to yourself how no character in the film was allowed to have the ending figured out when in the third act something happens that will automatically clue you in as to how it all winds up.

What Makes It Watchable: Gosling has that puffed-out-chest charisma that makes decent actors movie stars after they get enough public affirmation. I'm sure this was shot before his Oscar nomination, but maybe he could smell it coming and sense how that quality is cultivated is a well-guarded Hollywood secret or else everyone would be able to get some and become rich and famous. Meanwhile, the camera enjoys him quite a bit, and there's even a strange sex-symbol-baiting scene of him working out. No story-based reason at all. Just flexed arms.

My Favorite Part: I like it best when Hopkins says stuff to Gosling like, "It's such a shame I'm going to have to go on this second honeymoon vacation without [the nearly dead, recently-shot wife], what with her being in a coma and all from a gunshot wound I inflicted, but ha-ha-HA, you will never pin this on me, young, blond, handsome person!"

My Other Favorite Part: Immediately after, when Hopkins talks about getting a refund on her plane ticket for that very reason. Except everyone knows that when you buy a plane ticket and don't use it, then you just ate it. Maybe they refund first-class tickets? (Like I'd know.)

My Other Favorite Part: There's a collection of expensive, complicated, metal-balls-running-around-on-little-tracks contraptions that Hopkins' character is obsessed with — basically, executive supertoys on growth hormones, the kind that costs thousands of dollars and has no actual function besides being hypnotically fun to watch for hours. One of the detectives points to one and says, "What's this?" and the other cop goes, "It's a thing. It does stuff." And I sat there thinking, "And that thing is way more interesting to look at than this movie."

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