Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Client. C+


'The Client' (you can pretty much tell by the title this is based off a John Grisham novel) opens with a great scene in which a boy confronts a man in the woods who is trying to commit suicide. The scene is frightening, interesting, complex, and it also reveals vital information that sets the rest of the plot in order. Unfortunately that scene is really the only moment of greatness the movie has. The rest plays out like pretty normal legal thriller with too much action and movement and not enough clever conversation. I haven't read Grisham's novel, but I assume the movie follows the book closely (especially considering that Grisham's stories rely so much on plot). With that said, 'The Client' comes across as an obvious adaptation of a book hardly heralded as a popular writer's best work. The kid in that scene at the beginning is the main character in the story and is played by Brad Renfro. Renfro was at the time a newcomer and he handles the role like a seasoned pro. For a kid with so much screen time Renfro manages to keep us from getting irritated by his presence, as happens so often with child actors. 'The Client' also stars Susan Sarandon and Tommy Lee Jones as friendly rivals. If you're seeking out a John Grisham adaptation, you might as well pass on this one, especially when you could go with something more substantial like 'The Firm' or 'The Rainmaker.'

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