There’s no other way to say this, Mick Haller is a badass. Too bad he’s fictional. As played by Matthew McConaughey in The Lincoln Lawyer Mr. Haller has all the requisite swagger and street-smart energy required to make the just under two hours running-time of this movie fly by like a warm but invigorating breeze.
Now Mr. Haller is not above padding the expense account and he is given to saying things like, “Repeat customers, Earl. We’ll stick it to ‘em next time…” but I’m not sure that should be enough to have the film’s PR material call him a sleazy defense attorney. Or maybe it is. We live in India, this movie was made in America; definitions, like comedy, can sometimes be relative.
What is not relative is that The Lincoln Lawyer is a fun movie to watch. I caught it on the big screen and now, for a second time on DVD. That doesn’t happen too often. Life’s too short (and there are way too many movies I haven’t watched) for me to spend time revisiting a film I didn’t like. The Lincoln Lawyer I liked, and it was just as enjoyable this second go-around. And I am not a McConaughey fan. Nor have I read any of Michael Connelly’s book (one of which became the source material for this movie).
The performances in this movie are cool—in the way the ‘men’ in those fun nineties movies used to be cool. Everybody is sarcastic, urbane, and most of them seem to use alcohol as a cure for a parched throat.
To sum it up without giving too much away, Haller gets handed a rich client named Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillippe) who has been accused of assaulting a young woman named Reggie Campo (Margarita Levieva). Events occur that lead Haller to believe that his client might not be telling the truth and that this might in some way be connected to an earlier case of his. Marisa Tomei plays his ex-wife with whom he has a comfortable, available-for-booty-calls-type relationship. William H. Macy plays the private investigator who helps dig up leads, clues and evidence for Haller. He may also be the only real friend the lawyer has.
From IMDB I gather this movie did modest business at the US box office but I see this as the perfect Sunday afternoon cable TV or DVD movie. It has the quick banter, hip camerawork, and clever storytelling which are all desirable qualities in a movie that helps a person pass their time without having to suffer through either a message or the distorted vanity of some filmmaker (or movie star).
Bonuses on the DVD:
I don’t remember when it happened, but it has come to pass that I am really disappointed if the DVD for a movie does not carry any bonus features that offer a tiny peek behind the curtain that exists between the movies we watch and the process of making that entertainment.
On the disc for Lincoln Lawyer there are the by-the-book extras like the theatrical trailer, a short documentary in which everyone involved in the project talks about how great the material was, how satisfying it was to work on the film, and a short conversation between the star and the author who created him – so the usual PR pre-requisites.
The one thing that is different, and therefore enjoyable, is ‘At Home on the Road’–a featurette starring Michael Connelly, the author whose novel was the source material for this movie. In ‘At Home’ Connelly takes us on a driving (and walking) tour of Los Angeles, especially the areas featured in the movie. He talks about the geography in the context of his book and the movie, as well as its influence on his writing. This is good stuff.
I have done a small bit of writing in cities other than my home base and a change of scene really does make a difference. But that is just superficial stuff. To really get under the skin of anything you have to become immersed in it. And the way Mr. Connelly tells it, it was during his years as a reporter that he made the contacts and began hearing the stories and anecdotes that became the material that appears in his books. This featurette alone is worth the price of the DVD.
The Lincoln Lawyer is a good time kinda film. If you haven’t watched it yet, put it on your list of movies to catch. And don’t forget to check out the “At Home on the Road” bonus feature while the disc is still in the player.