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</script></div>{/googleAds}Hitchcock has long held the bar on the thriller. His ‘less is more' approaches, and mastery of implication and looming danger are virtues aspired by almost any filmmaker working then or today in his famous genre playing field. So often the modern thriller seems to shoot for the Hitchcock effect and misses by a mile, by trying too hard. Gregory Hoblit's Fracture does in fact get itself in the Hitchcock quality arena, well above a lot of its modern-day peers, but by the end it's a case of ‘close, but no cigar'...

Fracture tells the story of Ted Crawford (Sir Anthony Hopkins); a man who wilfully shoots his philandering wife, calmly sets his plan into motion, and then confesses to the arresting cop... who happens to be the ‘other man'. Enter our headstrong, over-confident foil, Deputy D.A Willy Beachum (Ryan Gosling); on his way to a lucrative career in corporate law. The meeting of these men in an arraignment leads to a game of cat and mouse, as Crawford executes his mechanically precise plan, and Beachum drops the ball BIG-time. Redemption and justice fuel our young D.A into action, as it appears the sociopathic Mr. Crawford may just get away with murder.

This is a smart script from the onset, with a great set-up, and moments of true surprise and tension. Writers Daniel Pyne and Glenn Gers deliver two compelling lead characters, and it is the interaction between these two characters that sets it apart from many of its contemporaries, with a few very successful moments of ‘what will they do next?' resulting. The supporting characters do not fair as well, and all-too often feel like they're there solely to serve a plot-point before disappearing, essentially robbing the story of any verisimilitude (doesn't sell its own reality). The rather mechanical intonations of Crawford, which work well for that character, bleed into other areas of the script where it serves to be a little too convenient... although until the end not predictable as stated, these men write smart stuff.

Anthony Hopkins could play a character like Crawford in his sleep, and whether by design or not, his Hannibal Lector persona is well-entrenched into this new bad guy. Sure, the motivations and background of Crawford are completely disparate to Lector's, but essentially what you get is a character of refinement, success, poise, intelligence and skill who happens to have no moral compass. Ryan Gosling continues to prove himself to be an actor of restraint and ease, playing the ego-fuelled and more relatable humane aspects of his character with equal verve. The supporting cast, including David Strathairn, Embeth Davidtz, aid the leads in giving Fracture the class it's looking for. Rosamund Pike is given one of those aforementioned characters that simply serves a single purpose, which is a shame. Her performance makes one wish her character had been tied to the end game, and upped the stakes to a Hitchcockian ending.

Director Hoblit's eye for visuals is breathtaking. Under his watch, Kramer Mortenthau's cinematography has an almost noir-ish quality to it; the production design adeptly speaks to the characters and the world. Disappointing is the staging of the final act, which - if one watches the alternate scenes becomes obvious the filmmakers had trouble with. The ending does not escalate enough. Crawford does not represent the threat he has throughout the rest of the film, and it becomes a protracted ‘cat got the cream' moment for Beachum that we are well aware of before he goes into it... unlike the rest of the story, this is not built up and not suspenseful. Subtlety is always the way to go with a thriller, and Hoblit certainly imbues this film with subtlety, but the ending is too subtle... and frankly boring, compared to his build up.

Fracture fulfils the need it asks of you to stay with it to the end... unfortunately for this film it's the end of a thriller that matters the most, and where this one falls from Hitchcock worthy to just worthy.


DVD Details:

Not much here. An extensive set of deleted alternate scenes, and a trailer.

Screen formats: Remastered 2.35:1 Widescreen

Subtitles: English; Spanish; Closed Captioned

Language and Sound: English: DTS 5.1 Surround; English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo

Extra Features:

* Deleted and Alternate Scenes: A total of 7 clips totalling 33:57.
* Trailers: Original theatrical trailer for Fracture and a few sneak peeks for upcoming New Line movies.

Number of discs: - 1 with Slipcase packaging