A young public prosecutor (Gosling) must put away one last defendant, the clearly guilty Crawford (Hopkins) in order to land a new and much cushier role at a private firm. But all is not as simple as it appears.
L.A’s Assistant District Attorney Willy Beachum (Gosling) is in trouble. His bolshy, cocksure attitude has finally met its match in the form of the coolly menacing Ted Crawford (Hopkins) – an estranged husband who’s been charged with the attempted murder of his adulterous wife. What ensues is a lively paced tussle that favours both Hopkins’ ice-cool demeanour and Gosling’s pithy confidence and wit – all neatly reflected in Greg Hoblit’s shimmering Californian surfaces.
It’s clear that Hopkins and Gosling’s sharp, often droll exchanges are pushing the movie towards its satisfying conclusion, but when the pair aren’t sharing screen time the pace slows dramatically. Rosamund Pike is suitably impervious as Gosling’s soon-to-be corporate boss/lover and David Strathairn displays noble poise as his mentor, but without the trade-offs between the leading men, Fracture re-assembles into a very ordinary thriller.
The two leads are on fine form, but the surrounding structure is too familiar from a thousand other films. Still, tense and occasionally twisty stuff.