Review: Reasonable Doubt (Cinema, USA)
The Review: Here we go again; it’s that time of year where a black guy is paired with a white guy for a do-or-die philosophical mindbender.
This time around, Dominic Cooper plays a prosecutor who finds himself in the invidious position of prosecuting a man in court he knows is innocent; but here’s the twist – it’s Dominic Cooper who’s guilty.
Ah, well, not quite – but that’s about as deep as I’ll go in my review at this point. Why? Because Brit director Peter Howitt couldn’t care less, either. He’s credited himself here as Peter P. Croudins, which is the sort of name you’d expect Peter Sellers to adopt when directed by Blake Edwards. If that doesn’t tell you everything you need to know about this clock-watching streak of cinematic grey, then I guess you’re the perfect audience for this lame-brained thrill-less drama. I say cinematic…
In actual fact, the film’s central conceit is quite an interesting one; what would you do in this situation? You were drunk when you hit and killed a jaywalker, and left him to die on the side of the road. Turns out you’ve left your business card accidentally at the scene of the crime. And now Samuel L. Jackson (in token anti Caucasian mode) knows you’re responsible, but no-one knows that he is. It’s a cat and mouse affair; a stalemate of frustratingly dead-end proportions. This is over with within half an hour to make way for what is, to all intents and purposes, Lakeview Terrace 2. No-one wants Lakeview Terrace 2.
Even if they did, they probably wouldn’t want Joey off of “Bread” directing it via his trademark lifeless and flat visualisation. They probably wouldn’t want someone called Peter A. Dowling writing it, either. This year is not the year for anyone named Peter. No wonder Howitt wanted his name off the credits, Cooper turns in a dough-eyed performance that teeters on pay check. And guess what? No-one wants to see that, either.
My guess is that Reasonable Doubt will die a death almost entirely unheard of and little discussed. Allow me to follow suit, starting now…
Reviewed By: Andrew Mackay
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