Sir Anthony Hopkins is one hell of an actor. He scared the dickens out of people as Hannibal Lecter, he was on an epic scale in Titus and most recently he delighted us as a sweet old loon in The World’s Fastest Indian. he is quite possibly one of the greatest actors of the most recent generations. Thus, he should have a clause in his contract that states that his talents are not to be misused in any way; then at least schlock like Fracture wouldn’t even get made.
In addition to Hopkins, neither director Gregory Hoblit or Ryan Gosling are slouches either. Hoblit’s Primal Fear in 1996 was fantastic and Gosling was recently nominated for an Oscar. So you would think that Fracture, with all of its star power and potential, would be a good flick. Sadly, it falls well short of good on the heels of a poorly managed plot and some misplaced performances.
Among the misplaced is the very talented Gosling as a cocky young prosecutor who has one foot out the door on his way to a cushy private practice job. But before he can move out of the Los Angeles DA’s office and into the swanky world of the private sector he has one last case to finish off. That case is the seemingly simple murder trial of a woman at the hands of her very rich and eccentric husband (Hopkins).
Of course, things turn out to be more than they seem, Hopkins’ character begins to play games and the film is wrought with tense moments and more twists and turns than the California coastal highways. The only problem is that as a member of the audience, when the initial chess match between the two leads begins to wear thin we are caught up in a terribly drawn out game of “where is the murder weapon?” It all ends up seeming very trite and unnecessary, almost a painful regurgitation of Primal Fear, just with less edge.
And while the plot itself is severely mismanaged and ultimately disengaging, one thing is for sure; Sir Anthony still has it. He gives an absolutely delicious performance as a creepy lunatic the likes of which we have not seen since his Silence of the Lambs days. His character is twisted, methodical and interesting — almost to the point where you are rooting for him to win. Then you realize that he is the bad guy. This flick, in the end, serves very little purpose and is about as fulfilling as going to church with Tara Reid. It does prove one thing, though — Anthony Hopkins is still the man.