Monday, April 11, 2011
Quick Reviews: The Lincoln Lawyer, Source Code
"The Lincoln Lawyer" is fun. Matthew McConaughey plays the title character, a criminal defense lawyer who does a lot of his work out of the back seat of his Lincoln while being driven all over Los Angeles. He gets a big case in which a spoiled rich overgrown kid (Ryan Phillippe) is charged with beating the crap out of a prostitute. While working on the defense, the lawyer and his investigator find similarities to another case they worked on, and things take a more sinister turn. It's predictable at times but the actors do a nice job. It's nice to see McConaughey doing something that isn't a romantic comedy -- or worse, "Surfer, Dude." My grade: B.
"Source Code" starts out with Army helicopter pilot Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) waking up on a commuter train heading to Chicago, having no idea how he got there (last thing he remembered, he was flying a mission in Afghanistan), and seeing another man's face in a mirror instead of his own. Then a bomb explodes, and he wakes up alone in a small room where he's informed via video monitor by an officer (Vera Farmiga) that he's part of the "Source Code," a program that can send one's consciousness into someone else's body for the final eight minutes before the other person's death. Stevens' mission is to find out who planted the explosive on the train so the military can prevent an even worse attack that would kill millions. So, why only eight minutes? What happens to the other person's consciousness when your brain takes over his body? And why is Stevens spending time falling in love with, and trying to save, a passenger (Michelle Monaghan) instead of doing more to find the bomber? He's on the train. He's back in the room. He's on the train. He's back in the room. And so on. Not that bad, but I expect better from my boy Jake. My grade: C-plus.