Fracture

Just because a movie is freakin' preposterous doesn't mean it can't be diabolical fun. Case in point: Fracture, a twist-a-minute thriller with Anthony Hopkins as an attempted wife murderer getting ready to eat assistant district attorney Willy Beachum (Ryan Gosling) for breakfast, even without fava beans and a nice chianti. Hopkins' Ted Crawford, an aeronautical engineer with a specialty in detecting the tiniest system defects, thinks he sees a fracture in the armor worn by Willy, a prosecutor about to dump the office of the district attorney (a superb David Strathairn) for the greener pastures of corporate law. Does that mean that Ted can outsmart slick Willy and get away with putting a bullet in the head of his cheating wife (Embeth Davidtz) and framing her married cop lover (Billy Burke)? I'll never tell. That grinding noise you hear is the script shifting gears. But director Gregory Hoblit, back in Primal Fear form after a detour at Hart's War, constructs a beautifully intricate cat-and-mouse game. Hopkins and Gosling, the indie prince fresh from a surprise Oscar nomination for Half Nelson, go at each other with relish. They're slumming in this Hollywood hoo-ha, but you can tell they're loving it.

From The Archives Issue 310: February 7, 1980
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