Runaway Jury is a 2003 film and a really good one! I wasn’t sure in the beginning of this film if I was going to like it, since the short summary on the back of the dvd case didn’t reveal too much; but I chose it because of the four main actors that star in it, two of them being big time actors: Gene Hackman and Dustin Hoffman.
!!! SPOILERS AHEAD !!!
The film is an adaptation of John Grisham’s novel The Runaway Jury. It’s interesting because the only book I’ve ever read of John Grisham was The Firm and I liked it. When I watched the adaptation of it, starring Tom Cruise, I didn’t like it because it was too short. The book is quite long so seeing it all happen in under 2 hours was unfulfilling. I haven’t read The Runaway Jury but I really enjoyed the film so the novel must be a lot better. That’s the general rule. The book is always better than the movie.
The plot is about two lawyers each trying to win the case from either side and a juror in between who’s in fact controlling the jury with the help of his girlfriend from outside. The case is a rather funny one. I always crack up when I hear cases like this happen or where people sue each other for the most bizarre and ridiculous reasons. The fact that they are suing the gun manufacture for the murder of the 11 people in the shooting is just dumb. But anyway there is a good cause to suing them for gun control.
John Cusack (Nick Easter) did a really good job at being the subtle yet skillfull manipulator among the jury. Rachel Weisz (Marlee) was brilliant. She did a great job handling the lawyers with her offers and setting Fitch up. Also she’s a hottie who knows how to kick ass. I was surprised to see her stab the guy in the leg and then raise the offer to 15M, like a boss. Gene Hackman (Fitch) played a great bad guy. He’ll do anything to win and almost kidnapped Marlee to have Nick back down. Now, Dustin Hoffman (Rohr) was okay. He wasn’t great nor was he bad. Just okay. He was perhaps the average lawyer with nothing unique or different like the others.
I loved how many twists the movie had. It just kept getting better and more interesting. Almost to the end I was sitting at the edge of the sofa intently paying attention, gathering all the information about the real truth behind Nick & Marlee’s plan. That they were out for revenge against Fitch for his involvement in defending the gun manufacture who was “responsible” for the shooting in a high school that happened years ago, where Marlee’s sister died. I quoted ‘responsible’ because, again, not exactly their fault. You don’t sue a silverware company because you got stabbed with a kitchen knife right?
It’s a smart, entertaining and a fun thriller to watch! I definitely recommend this to anyone interested in thrillers and/or lawyer films. I thank John Grisham for his creative plots and Gary Fleder for an excellent directing work.
Thanks for reading my review! 🙂
– Nick Andersen
Fun fact: The lead had been offered to Edward Norton and Will Smith before John Cusack.