When disgraced New York Times reporter Michael Finkel meets accused killer Christian Longo – who has taken on Finkel’s identity – his investigation morphs into a game of cat-and-mouse. (IMDB)
Writer: Rupert Goold
Director: Rupert Goold
Stars: James Franco, Jonah Hill, Felicity Jones
Run time/Rating: 99 Minutes/ R
Popcorn Score: Small Popcorn with Butter
As you scroll through your On Demand options or visit your corner Redbox over the course of the next month or more your eye will undoubtedly catch the flashy cover of True Story, a intriguing looking suspense/drama with two of your favorite comedic actors on its cover. Save yourself a few bucks, more importantly 2 hours and avoid avoid avoid!
This movie could have gone wrong in a few different places. The number suspect being the casting. Having Jonah Hill and James Franco play across from each other in a riveting true story (not riveting movie, however) causes immediate worry. The last time audience members saw these two on the big screen together was in 2014’s hilarious buddy/end of the world comedy “This is the End”. After all of the weed smoking and semen tossing jokes, it could be hard for audiences to take seriously Franco as a controlled but psychotic murderer and Hill as a hard hitting national news reporter. The casting was not the problem however. The two primarily comedic actors brought their chops and they prove to do the absolute best they, or anyone I believe could do with this awful script and execution from a first time film director.
Yes, this movie was doomed before the camera ever rolled. The script and vision for this movie are way off of what they need to be to make a legitimate biopic. The story is engaging, the characters are interesting as well. With the use of montages to establish the relationship between the two principals as well as inside the courtroom, it is as if the screenwriter and director felt they were on a 90 minute clock to wrap this story up. I am not saying that longer would have been better in this case, but only that if done correctly with a good script the story could have been told better in detail probably taking longer.
True Stories are often the best stories. The way that life presents itself to people and the way that any individual handles it is interesting no matter what the issue. Unfortunately in order for that to translate to the big screen a lot more needs to be done than what we get with this True Story.
Small Popcorn with Butter.