February 27, 2009

Runaway Jury Review

Runaway Jury was a pretty good movie, but I was disappointed by the switch from tobacco to gun control as the central plot. The book worked because the lawsuit was interesting and based on real-life tobacco industry litigation . In the movie, they gutted and replaced the hot topic with a flimsy case involving a single company gleefully selling guns to criminals, with a wicked corporate lawyer as villain. You could have written the resulting courtroom drama with zero knowledge of legal procedure, and that's really not a big draw for Grisham fans. They made a flimsy case and I didn't appreciate the emotional appeal (schmaltzy music and footage of children playing safely in a gun-free utopia, hurray!).

With such a meh Big Bad, the whole cat and mouse game just doesn't hang together as well. It was a damn shame, because that part of the story was riveting and really wanted a grander payoff.

I guess with all the media fascination with school shootings in the past decade, they thought it would be more intense and topical than taking yet another swing at Big Tobacco's all too boring sociopathy. At least I got a page inked during the film. And hey, the book's still on the shelf. As Stephen King once said, "they can't change a word." But don't get me started on the mondo ass rapings he's had to endure with his fiction. I'd be here all night and it's bedtime.

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