The roots of this crime flick, Beyond A Reasonable Doubt, go way back to 1956. The original, directed by Fritz Lang, was said to be as intense and intriguing as any other works of film noir in the era. Which is why we don’t understand why this 2009 remake is, to be completely blunt, an utter snore-fest. You’ll have better luck keeping your eyes up and about in a courtroom hearing for a really mundane case rather than watching this painfully uninspired flick.
Beyond A Reasonable Doubt is about a driven, young reporter, C.J. Nicholas (Jesse Metcalfe) who thinks that the city’s premiere district attorney, Mark Hunter (Michael Douglas) has been fiddling around with presented evidence in order to fortify his convictions.
In the eyes of the public, Hunter is a hero who has put a lot of criminal minds and hands behind the cold bars of prison. Nicholas, however, smells something fishy with Hunter’s impeccable record as an attorney. In order to expose the said lawyer, Nicholas frames himself up as a suspect in a murder case, hopefully getting Hunter to reveal his true nature. A dangerous game of cat and mouse ensues from that point forward.
While the premise is pretty exciting—the usual crime flick fare, really—the story telling of director, Peter Hyams is shoddy. The movie is marked with broken storytelling, lack of suspense, and a lack of feel for pacing. Obvious buzzkill to a potentially pulse-pounding chase between an ambitious do-gooder, and a devious wolf in sheep’s clothing. Many crime fans will no doubt be disappointed by this movie’s lack of a soul.
Much of the acting reflects the director’s lazy approach as well. Michael Douglas’ performance is really the only one worth talking about, as he was at least able to give life to his character’s fierce yet malicious underpinnings. As for the others, may the gavel silence the critics that are sure to hound the lack of life and dynamics in their acting.
Beyond A Reasonable Doubt is sadly one of those films that shouldn’t have been remade. If the story has piqued your interest, we recommend that you try to find a copy of the 1956 original instead.
WORDS: GELO GONZALES