Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

Here's a movie with some pretty good actors, remaking an old movie from the 1950s, twisting and twisting the plot until you get a crick in your neck, and definitely requiring you to suspend disbelief completely.  The popularity of shows like CSI have upped the bar for realism and accuracy in crime movies and TV shows.  Beyond a Reasonable Doubt has one foot in that ethos and one foot in the 1950s. While not a complete waste of time, it makes me wonder if I should have, instead, picked up the original, which was directed by the great director Fritz Lang.
Michael Douglas is a creepy, power hungry DA.
The concept is intriguing: a young reporter suspects that the popular, successful DA plants evidence to bolster his record.  He develops a scheme by which he'll frame himself for a murder, allow the conviction to proceed, then have his co-conspirator reveal the evidence that he is innocent and that the conviction is proceeding on false evidence, planted by the DA.  Just when it looks like the plan is going to work, the reporter's friend is killed in a car accident.  In the meantime, the reporter has to convince his girlfriend, who works for the DA, of his innocence, and bring her into the plan after the fact.

If it all sounds confusing and unlikely, you're right.  The twists at the end only add to the groan factor.  "Yeah, right,"  I thought.  The whole thing was just too unbelievable.  The final product was sort of entertaining, though.

Bottom line: 1 1/2 stars.

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