When a high power lawyer gets involved in a case against a huge pharmaceutical company he gets more than he bargained for.
For a film that got such a limited release it’s surprising that the film managed to rope in some pretty heavyweight actors such as Anthony Hopkins and Al Pacino, some recognisable faces such as, Alice Eve and Julia Styles and then there’s Josh Duhamel. What’s even more surprising is that despite this cast the film still managed to be as spectacularly shoddy as it is. The performances of the supposed acting heavyweights and recognisable faces are just as responsible for the film’s dreadfulness as much the film’s mindless script is. Heavyweights such as Hopkins and Pacino chew the scenery with Al Pacino doing a lot of shouting (he should shout at the costume designer for that hair piece) and Hopkins (who isn’t too bad) just turning up for the pay check.
Josh Duhamel’s performance in the central role, as a smart, ambitious lawyer, lacks charisma but at least his performance is passable unlike Alice Eve, whose performance is biblically bad. Eve plays her character like some sort of brain dead zombie, staring aimlessly into space and speaking with this strange sort of nasally, squeaky voice. It’s an astonishingly awful performance, completely lacking in any conviction as it seems like she’d rather be any else in the world than reading the nonsense that is the script
The actors don’t seem to put in the effort or take what they’re doing too seriously, and by judging the script it’s not too much of a surprise. The dialogue should be taken to court for crimes against screenwriting (stay calm as ice is worst crime of all) so it’s no wonder the actors struggled to take it seriously, especially when Alice Eve’s Charlotte Cahill questions whether Emily was Ben’s type (what? Blonde and pretty? Much like yourself?). The story it just a mess, it’s a legal thriller with very little legal stuff as the film instead seems to focus on the murders behind the scenes and a mysterious terminally ill Korean man on a motorcycle. There seems to be tremendous gaps in logic as if there had been some rushed post production work (there were some overdubbed lines that clarified certain plot points so at least there was some realisation that film made little sense).
The film’s visual style seemed to be at odds with the script’s cheap trashiness as the film is packed with visual flourishes, many of them needless, which include slow camera pans to nothingness and a 180 degree turn for..to be honest I don’t really know why. It seems the director, Shintaro Shimosawa, just thought he use some impressive tricks he learnt without thinking about how to use them practically and effectively. Federico Jusid’s score is obnoxious and obtrusive and even has a screeching violin like soundtrack as though Jusid thought he was Bernard Herrmann making Psycho.