“Fracture” is a perfect example of how even the most charming A-list cast cannot salvage a redundant, B-level script. Forever doomed to be an IMDb footnote for Ryan Gosling, Anthony Hopkins and “wait, is that the girl from ‘Gone Girl?’ Oh shit it is!” Rosamund Pike, “Fracture” proves to be a misleading title since there wasn’t much holding this movie together to begin with.
Hopkins plays Ted Crawford, rich old guy who swaggers home early in his $50 million car one day and stumbles upon his wife necking with another dude in the pool area. Instead of dealing with the matter through couple’s therapy or flat-out divorce like sensible adults, Crawford straight up shoots his wife in the face. Rising star prosecutor Willy Beachum (Gosling) gets handed the case, but because of Crawford’s Hannibal Lecter-inspired tomfoolery, is increasingly unable to deliver justice against the mischievous and cunning murder suspect.
Beachum and Crawford’s rivalry is not so much a game of cat and mouse as much as Beachum has already been caught in the mousetrap and Crawford’s bored Maine Coon is just swatting away at this poor injured rodent’s head with nothing better to do. The emotional and dramatic intrigue falls flat, with Beachum’s transformation from selfish career devotee into somewhat moralistic person far below entertainment value. Even the ending feels like something a struggling screenwriter would come up with at Starbucks while eavesdropping on some 1L students two tables away talking about midterms. Not every legal movie can be as wholly accurate as “My Cousin Vinny,” but we still expect something a bit more when Gosling and Hopkins are in the courtroom.
It’s still a worthwhile jaunt for the lazy Saturday morning, providing joy as we make several “oh wow look at how young Ryan and Rosamund looked back then”-type observations during view. Directed by TV cop drama veteran Gregory Hoblit, it’s no surprise that “Fractured” feels less a movie and more a two-hour episode of “Law and Order,” with character development and plot devices at those 1-hour levels.