Pacino gives an Oscar-nominated performance as a committed Baltimore attorney called on to defend a personal enemy, a judge accused of rape, in director Norman Jewison’s blackly comic satire of the justice system.
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Just mixing straight drama and a few tone-deaf comedic moments does not make a black comedy or satire. I would love for Soderbergh to do one of his academic exercises with this and re-do the soundtrack. Just throw in some Tangerine Dream or something like that and the movie would be 70% better.
The journeyman direction of Norman Jewison results in an underwhelming film that plods along despite its Oscar nominated script and impressive turn by Al Pacino. Full of subplots that go nowhere and a central plot that takes a backseat until the final moments when it comes close to self parody not black comedy.
By directing this Norman Jewison must have felt like a plate juggler, trying to keep as many plates as possible spinning in the air at the same time. It's simply too ambitious, so many subjects of critisism, numerous subplots, too many cliches & above all the movie shifts uneasily between comedy & melodrama. Less would have been more! It's a pity for the well doing cast. A waste; Mr. Jewison to be blamed for.