Monday, 20 February 2012

The Lincoln Lawyer

I've read a number of Michael Connelly's thrillers, and enjoyed all of them. He's a writer who does what he does with a real professionalism, and when he wrote a book with a lawyer as a central character, I resolved to get round to it as soon as I could. But of course such resolutions tend not to work out, and in fact I've seen the film - which came out on general release last year - before reading the book.

Connelly is said to have been happy with the adaptation of The Lincoln Lawyer, and I can see why. This is a well-made film, with a sound plot, capable acting and good production values. It's not a ground-breaking movie, and I don't really see Connelly as a ground-breaking writer. But that isn't a criticism as far as I'm concerned. The film, like the Connelly books, offers genuinely enjoyable entertainment.

The story-line is clearly set out, and any tricksiness is in the twists of the plot rather than in the way the film unfolds its mysteries. Matthew McConaughey plays Mickey Haller, a criminal defence attorney who makes a good living acting for guilty people and, often, getting them off. He's split up with his wife, a prosecutor, pretty much for that reason. But they still fancy each other, and are good parents to their child. Overall, Haller is a likeable guy.

He is hired by a rich young man called Roulet to defend him on a charge of murdering a woman who may have been a prostitute. Roulet protests his innocence, but Haller begins to have doubts. The plot thickens when Haller's chum, an investigator, is murdered. But in the end, Haller makes sure that justice is done. Orthodox stuff, perhaps, but very well done and extremely watchable. Incidentally, I met Connelly once, more than a decade ago, in Manchester, and found him very affable. He also proved to be a witty public speaker.


Anonymous said...

Martin - I'm glad you liked this adaptation. So often a film is a pale imitation of the novel if it's even anything like the novel at all. I hope you'll get the chance to read the novel; it's a good 'un.

Sarah Tokeley said...

I really enjoyed the film. I meant to get round to reading the book but forgot. Thanks for the reminder :-)

Martin Edwards said...

Margot, I shall follow up your recommendation!
Sarah, good to hear from you and I've had a look at your own interesting blog.