By Mark Wadland
“Reasonable Doubt” stars Samuel L. Jackson, who plays Clinton Davis, a mentally disturbed killer, opposite Dominic Cooper, who plays Mitch Brockden, a prominent lawyer who accidentally commits a hit and run while driving home drunk late at night. While investigating the crime, Davis becomes a suspect, but is quickly acquitted after Brockden’s brother, Jimmy, sheds new light on the incident, clearing Davis’s name.
Brockden, however, who was the prosecutor against Davis, does not give up. He continues following Davis, and eventually concludes that Davis assaulted the man he hit and killed. Davis warns him to back off, and when Brockden refuses, Davis tries to kill his wife.
Jackson, an experienced and well-known actor, manages to drag this film out of the depths of
mediocrity, but only just. Ultimately, the film was too predictable, and Cooper’s performance paled in comparison to that of his Jackson’s. It is also short, with just over an hour and a half in length, which, I think, did not allow for the characters to be developed fully.
Had it been longer, perhaps the plot could have been expanded further, but as it stands, the film’s plot is fair at best, and the knowledge of Davis’s guiltiness is hardly surprising. Someone who has seen enough movies could predict the outcome of this film within twenty minutes.
I would not recommend this film to others. While there are worse movies out there, better movies also exist, and watching it is a waste of time. There are better movies in which to invest your time – perhaps a baseball game or knitting – both would be a step up from this film.
I like Jackson’s performances as a whole, and this was no exception, but his co-stars were unable to match his on-screen intensity and acting ability. It may not be fair to compare the other actors and actresses in this film to Jackson, but the entire time I was watching it, I could not help but think that Cooper was in over his head starring opposite the acclaimed Jackson.
The ending to this film also annoyed me. It was far too short – less than ten minutes of running, screaming and begging not to be killed – all of which were expected. If I had to sum up this film in one word, I would call it dull. It is a way to pass the time, but certainly not a good way.