Mick Haller (Matthew McConaughey) is a defence lawyer who works out of his Lincoln. One day, he gets a phone call to work the case of rich kid Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillippe), a real estate agent who stands accused of brutally attacking a prostitute. He claims the woman is jus trying to get some money out of him, but the closer Haller looks at the evidence against his client, the more he is convinced that the man he is representing is guilty as it would seem that there are links to a case he covered a few years back.
I first watched The Lincoln Lawyer a couple of years ago and it was from that point onwards that I became quite a fan of Matthew McConaughey. When it was shown again on TV a few weeks ago, I decided that it was maybe time I revisited the film that first sparked my interest in the work of someone who is now one of my favourite actors, just to see if it was as good as the first time I saw it. To be completely honest, I wasn’t as impressed by it the second time round, but it was still watchable and still reasonably enjoyable.
McConaughey was, of course, fantastic as the charismatic Haller, although I don’t really know why I’m telling you this – after all, much of his recent work is. For those of you who haven’t seen the film, just try and imagine a less sleazy Saul Goodman from Breaking Bad who actually has some morals. That’s the type of character McConaughey played, and he was very good at it. Haller is a great anti-hero and is the essential role that every legal thriller needs.
However, Haller would have been no use to anyone without a client to represent, which is were Ryan Phillippe’s Louis Roulet comes in. At first, he seemed innocent, but that very quickly changed. He then grew increasing menacing as the rest of the film played out and turned out to be quite a match for Haller. Phillippe was alright in the role, but it never really seemed to amount to anything more than threatening glares and cruel taunts. I’d have personally liked to have seen a little more ‘oomph’ behind him – maybe then I’d have enjoyed the film as much as I did the first time.
The story is a bit of a slow burner, but it pretty much boils down to a cat and mouse chase with a bit of legal flare thrown in for good measure. There are times at the start where you do wonder where on earth the narrative might possibly lead, but as is often the case, all becomes clear in the end.
On the whole, The Lincoln Lawyer is a film that is definitely worth seeing, even if it doesn’t have quite as much bite the second time of watching. Of course, if you wanted someone to watch it with you, I don’t imagine I’d protest too much at having to endure McConaughey in such a role, so what am I really complaining about?