Michael Clayton looked like an intense law thriller with some good actors, so I really wanted to get into it. What I got into was a nap.
Michael Clayton was directed by Tony Gilroy , the man who wrote the screenplays for the Bourne spy action series. George Clooney takes the title roles with Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson, Austin Williams, and Sydney Pollack bringing in some support. The story follows the character Michael Clayton as he balances the lifestyle of a “fixer” within the borders of the world of lawyers and law. He is tested when a friend of his involved in a big corporation case seemingly goes nuts jeopardizing a firm he works for. However, there is more to the other man’s breakdown than just forgetting to take his meds: corporate scandal costing people’s lives.
The acting in the film is superb. The atmosphere set via filming locations, colors, and etc are also pleasing for the mind’s eye. However, the pacing of the film is slow with a capital SLOW. The plot is nothing new and it seems that this fact is stretched with slow scene delivery that seems tailored made to impress Oscar voters when it comes tome to look at actors who really went through some emotions on screen. There aren’t any surprise twists within the film really, all of it is literally a standard formula that has been done a zillion time. The ending, which is the most entertaining portion of the film, after all is said and done is just another overused ploy.
This movie was so slow that it made me fall asleep for a few minutes.
(These next couple of lines are almost spoiler, though not quite if you want to skip to the next paragraph.) Something within the story that did not make sense to me was a murder. Someone wishes certain people to be dead and has the job done very discreetly so as not to seem like a murder. However, the next time they go to commit murder they do so via a car bomb. Um, BOOM! Was it supposed to be an accidental car bomb?
The finale of the film, when the credits start rolling, almost felt for me as a viewer, like the director was laughing at me. “ Ha ha, look we are making you sit here and just watch minutes of silence and a close up of George Clooney making some facial expressions.” I didn’t label that as a spoiler because I’m saving you some precious minutes of life.
If you want to have a couple of precious hours of life saved just skip the movie altogether. It is a long bore, which is a shame since the Michael Clayton character is interesting in principal.