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Wednesday, April 18, 2007 10:01 pm

Lamb chop

Fracture apes another thriller, but badly

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Fracture Running time 1:51 Rated PG-13 Parkway Pointe
Untitled Document Fracture Running time 1:51 Rated PG-13 Parkway Pointe
There’s nothing wrong with jerking viewers in one direction, then another — it’s what good mysteries do — but Gregory Hoblit’s Fracture takes audiences to the breaking point of patience. The film moves at a glacial pace; worse still, it shamelessly apes The Silence of the Lambs. The comparisons are unavoidable, given that Sir Anthony Hopkins plays the villain, a homicidal maniac and master manipulator named Ted Crawford. His nemesis, Willy Beachum (Ryan Gosling), is a young district attorney who isn’t an intellectual match for the madman. There’s little doubt that Crawford is guilty of murder — we see it committed in the film’s far-too-slow first act — but the killer is clever: There are no witnesses, and he’s successfully hidden the murder weapon. Beachum, the prosecutor, can’t make what should be an open-and-shut case, and Crawford walks. An embarrassed Beachum sets out to find out just how Crawford could get away with murder and hopes to nab him on another charge. Once this cat-and-mouse game gets under way, the film hits its stride. It really is great fun watching Hopkins here, and the movie would have benefited greatly from more scenes with him and fewer involving his co-star. Unfortunately, Gosling comes off as amateurish at times, relying on so many physical tics and gestures that he singlehandedly brings this affair to a screeching halt. Although it takes far too long to get to the film’s requisite twist, credit must be given to writers Daniel Pyne and Glenn Gers for coming up with a genuinely clever and plausible explanation for the missing gun. However, by the time all of the pieces came together I was far too distracted and bored to care — and I couldn’t shake the feeling that I’d been there, done that.
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