I love crime-based movies. The fun thing about it is how wide it can actually be. Crime/drama, crime-trhiller, crime-comedy, the list goes on. I even like the thing that relates to the crime genre simply known as “Legal Dramas”. I know those are not for everyone, but I can enjoy them (If they’re good). And then I find this legal drama starring Richard Gere and my favorite actor Edward Norton. So indeed I was kind of interested… even though this was quite a while before I realized Ed Norton was my favorite actor. I think I heard about this movie in like January of 2013, and it’s been on my watchlist even since. But now I finally sat down to watch it. So what did I think about the movie? Well stay to find out!
Ladies and gentlemen… “Primal Fear”
This movie is based on the book with the same name by William Diehl and is about defense attorney Martin Vail (Richard Gere) who takes on the job to be the attorney of altar boy Aaron Stampler (Edward Norton) who has been accused of murdering archbishop Rushman (Stanley Anderson). But this movie is a bit more deep than that and doesn’t simply rely on CSI techniques and legal bullshit, oh no. There is so much more to this story than meets the eye… problem is I can’t talk about them since I don’t spoil in my reviews. But while the story in premise was pretty straight forward, the execution and general final product was pretty cool. Not saying it was without it’s flaws however. There are a few things in a sort of side-plot with Martin and one of his personal vendettas that didn’t really interest me too much, but that is not the important stuff. But the story was overall good.
I am going to be completely honest… I did not like all the characters too much. Sure the main protagonist Martin was kind of likeable but he was still a not too interesting jerk. But I was on the other hand intrigued as hell by the character of Aaron Stampler (Norton). Not only was it hightened by Norton’s great performance, but I always felt something was up with him… especially as you get deeper into the plot and further into the movie. I am not saying why if you haven’t seen, but I promise you will also be pretty intrigued. Overall the characters were good but forgettable, except for Aaron.
The music, while nothing special, was pretty good. As you may expect from this type of movie there were a few licensed tracks in it, but there was also an original score by James Newton Howard. And the original score was pretty good, if a little generic. But I did think all the music worked for the movie as a whole.
The camera work in this movie is nothing special, that is the truth. Not saying it was bad, just saying it wasn’t revolutionary or even great to be honest. And speaking of great stuff (not too clever segue, I know), I fucking loved the ending. I thought it was pretty clever how it was set up and delivered, good job movie. I am of course not gonna spoil the edning for you guys because that would be so incredibly rude. But I can at least mention that how it concluded left a small amount to interpretation in what would happen next, and I really liked that about the movie. Great job, movie!
So how was this movie when it comes to the reception? Well as far as I could find out, people enjoyed it. The main factor that people were praising was Edward Norton’s performance (I don’t blame them). On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 74% positive rating. On Metacritic it has the fairly low score of 47/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 3,5/4 stars and had this little thing to say;
“the plot is as good as crime procedurals get, but the movie is really better than its plot because of the three-dimensional characters,”
On imdb.com this movie has a score of 7,7/10. It was also nominated for One Oscar in the category of Best Supporting Actor (Edward Norton). The nomination does not surprise me to be completely honest… just saying.
This movie has a good plot, decent characters, good music, a really cool ending and a phenomenal perforamnce by Edward Norton. So it is time for the final score. And my final score for “Primal Fear” is an 8,78/10. So I think this movie is worth buying (But it’s not mandatory).
Review for “Primal Fear” is now done.
“Well how the fuck should I know!?”