Client (1994)

THE FIRM was soft, THE PELICAN BRIEF wasn't, and THE CLIENT is a trial.
Why is John Grisham so hard to make into a movie?  Three, count 'em
three different filmmakers have attempted to best the bestselling
author.  With the lastest loss THE CLIENT, three strikes have made
little more than one out.

The story is straight-forward and easy-to-follow and doesn't have one
scene of anyone going crazy in a copy room.  The plot is about a 11-year
old Tennessee boy (BradRenfro) who may be the key to a Memphis mob
murder.  He won't talk to the Feds and barely cooperates with his lawyer
(Susan Sarandon).  That is, until the mob sends some men to "tie up
loose ends." Even though no one actually says that in the movie.

Brad Renfro and Susan Sarandon are the stars and they have good
chemistry and are more believable than either Tom Cruise or Julia
Roberts.  Renfro, in particular, is politely unpolished and a refreshing
change for smoother child actors.

With the exception of Ossie Davis-- who chairs the film's sole exciting
scene-- the rest of the cast is a waste.  Yes, even Tommy Lee Jones. But
they all do drawl within the lines; sometimes even sounding like bad
Elvis impersonators.

Speaking of which, I counted a total of eight references to The Big E.
There may be more.  Uuuh-huh.

THE CLIENT has some good local color and the occasional flash of humor,
but, considering the competition, is hardly deserving of your summer
movie dollars.  There's nothing exciting here.  Anyone up to again adapt
Clive Cussler?  Surely no one remembers RAISE THE TITANIC...  (Rated "PG"/
120 min)

BOTTOM LINE:  This from the guy who's going to direct BATMAN FOREVER??

Grade: C-

Copyright 1994 by Michael J. Legeros

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