In today’s constantly changing world, it’s always a hassle to find justice in a system with ever “evolving” morals. As traditions collide, new trends form, and the world does not quite take the moral high ground in favor of reward or pleasure, those that may be innocent have less of a fighting chance. Thus, the plot of today’s movie tries to show how there are still avenues of good in this world and it is hoping to impress the audience and share it’s story. Robbie K is back again to give you his thoughts on the latest movies to hit the silver screen, so let’s get cracking as I review:
Movie: Just Mercy (2019)
- Great Acting
- A Drama That Moves
- Multiple Aspects/Complete Picture
- Fantastic Use Of Soundtrack and Visuals
- Did Not Feel Like a 2-hour movie
- Drama Vs. Real Life
This movie has a wealth of positives for me and the true cornerstone comes from the great acting contained in this 136 minutes. Michael B Jordan continues to prove he is a master of his trade, bringing the incredible persona of the justice seeking lawyer, who is not only competent but empathetic. He works great with all of the scenes and sequences, naturally reacting and acting to all the players in this drama, and making a central figure to follow. Brie Larson, the ever-impressive actress herself, dominates her roles and supporting the two figure heads, though I had wished for a little more time with her, she capitalizes on her screen time. As for Foxx, well not much needs to be said, but again a natural presentation of a man convicted of crimes and believing to be innocent, while on death row mind you. It’s sleek, and often not forced on you, crafting a character that seems to be exactly what you would expect in this situation, compared to Hollywood’s idea of making everyone yell, scream and fight. Like Jordan, the man also has great chemistry with his squad and it helps expand the character while also proving how awesome his acting is. Even the secondary characters are for the most part stunning examples of talent, and I enjoyed the integrated crew bringing this gut wrenching tale to life.
That’s just the acting like what about the rest of the movie. Director Daniel Cretton succeeded in taking a movie I thought would be long and drawn out, and transforming it into a piece that netted my attention and dragged me to motivation station. It’s an emotional ride that will take you through just about every feeling you can imagine and somehow keep everything in balance. As mentioned in previous biographies, it manages to inject some good drama into the mix, to entrance you into caring about the story, while managing to avoid the overdramatic flare that reality television does. This balanced approach is something I enjoy as it allows you to appreciate the story without getting caught up in the soap opera semantics that this world can create. Additionally, the movie utilizes wonderful visuals and an audio score that manages to fill those scenes with a push that succeeds in bringing out the culture with motivational force. Finally, the movie achieves another goal that I always mention but seldom see in that it tries to give you a complete approach to how this lawyer fought for justice. Just Mercy, is all about giving you Bryan’s quest to help those in need, not only focusing on Foxx’s character case, but looking into a few others that were going with it. The movie then extends to those other characters who are intertwined with Foxx, again helping expand upon the character while helping you dive into Death Row mindsets. Throw in the families that help, the antagonists, even the assistants that help with drafting forms, getting interviews, and collecting evidence and you get an experience that again brings you into the film. It’s a wonderful drama, and through all the above-mentioned goodness, makes this movie feel less than 2 hours for the most part, the ending maybe being the exception.
Finding dislikes in this movie is difficult for me as I’m trying to be fair, but there were a couple of things I think still take away from a perfect score for me. There is always that notion of what is fact and what is fiction, and without reading the book, I can’t be certain. I believe Just Mercy has a better balance than most, but there are some times where the drama supersedes the facts a little too much. This nets interest I know, but a movie like this sometimes paints cultures and traditions a little too extreme, inciting some anger. In addition, the convention of the genre vs. the predictability is another aspect that you have to try and ignore. If you read the case files, pay attention to the trailers, or just know the genre as a whole, you will find the usual formulaic approach on record. It’s not awful by any means, but I have to take it into account when I review. Finally, I had hoped for a little more involvement in another character, whose story is wrapped up via the end credits, but it’s a minor flaw because they use the good actor to another awesome level.
Truth is Just Mercy was a lot better than I had anticipated, taking what looked to be a long, drawn out legal movie and adding spice to the mix. It’s acting is going to draw most people in to be honest, with a cast that makes this tory all the more impacting to those with an open mind. Outside of that though, it is an example of the partnership drama and reality can achieve when helmed by a competent director and his team. Multiple aspects, fantastic use of visuals, and a compelling involvement with all its characters makes this film a fantastic watch and not feel like 136-minute ride. True there are still some dramatic moments that might be excessive, and you have to be ready for the usual bag of tricks it needs to spring, but outside of extreme fans… you should be okay with it. Another film I believe can be enjoyed in the theater for stellar acting and storytelling, I implore many to watch this film when it comes out in the home.
My scores are:
Movie Overall: 8.0