Greetings Loved Ones! Liu Is The Name, And Views Are My Game.
Roman J Israel Esq. is a Civil Rights lawyer whose been fighting the good fight for decades. He’s brilliant with legal minutia, but terrible with people. Which is probably why, at his two person law firm, his partner makes all the court appearances, and he does all the behind-the-scenes research. But what happens when his partner dies, and he’s left with no money, and no real connections? Well, he finds himself going to work for a big evil law firm, and engaging in some less-than-savory practices to survive. Will there be any repercussions? Well, you’ll just have to watch the movie to find out.
If you know me in real life, you know that Denzel Washington is my favorite actor of all time. The dude is a maverick. He can take on any role–from a corrupt LAPD detective, to an alcoholic pilot, to a Civil Rights Leader, to an officer on a submarine–make it his own, and deliver an Oscar-worthy performance. And he’s not too shabby as a director as well. Just look at Fences, and you’ll see what I mean. So whenever I hear he’s got a new movie coming out, I’m hooked. I’m there. Doesn’t matter what it is–literally, the dude has been in every genre, from action, to drama, to sci-fi, to horror–I’ll go see it, as long as he’s there. That’s why I paid to watch Roman J Israel Esq.; Denzel Washington. Because, I’ll tell you, the trailers didn’t look that interesting, and word on the internet wasn’t leaving me too excited. Still, I decided to give it a chance. Maybe I’d be wrong. Maybe it’d be good. And now, having seen it, all I can say is… Meh.
Starting out with the positives; Denzel Washington. He’s terrific. I know that’s pretty much a-given, but, the man really is at the top of his game, all the time. His character is totally different from Malcolm X, Trip, Captain Whittaker, Alonzo Harris, or any of the other people I’ve seen him portray, and I genuinely bought him in the role. Really all the actors in this movie–Colin Farrell, Carmen Ejogo–do great jobs. And the film looks and sounds great. It’s a competently-crafted movie.
Beyond that, though, I can’t really recommend this movie. It’s extremely slow, and boring. The main plot– Roman revealing a criminal’s location to a mob in exchange for some money–doesn’t come about until 40 minutes in, and there are a ton of scenes, like Roman getting robbed, or him coming across a seemingly dead homeless man, that never get brought up again, and have no impact on the larger story at all. The film is also very inconsistent with regards to Colin Farell’s character; one minute, he’s the devil incarnate, the next minute, he wants to fight the good fight. It really threw me off, and took me out of the picture.
So, in the end, despite some good production values, and Denzel Washington, I can’t recommend this movie to you all. It’s just kind of boring.