“Roman J. Israel Esq.” and the Golden Corral   Leave a comment

It was a so-so movie and a pretty bad Thanksgiving buffet BUT I did wake up in the morning and I am thankful for that!

Denzel Washington never gives less than his best but sometimes even that isn’t enough to save a movie and Dan Gilroy, the director, who also wrote the screenplay, let’s the actor, as the title character, down in the second half of this 2 hour and 2 minutes film.

When we first meet Roman he is living in a studio apartment packed to the rafters with papers, books and more pictures on his wall than I have! He is ‘old school’ with his Afro, the way he dresses and, as we quickly learn, a veteran at fighting for civil rights along with being honest, ethical, principled and a savant of law.

He is a partner in a law office where he does all hebehind the scenes work and his partner handles all the court dates. Within a day his partner has a heart attack, is certain to die and the law firm has to be dissolved leaving Ramon without a partner, a job, alone and living in the past unable to be part of the present or future. George Pierce, played by Colin Farrell, is brought in by the dying partner’s niece to close the office. Unable to get a job he eventually takes a job at George’s firm. He is also invited to speak at the civil rights organization run by Maya, Carmen Ejogo, where he applied for a job, and she recognizes he is a man this generation owes a debt to for all his years of fighting.

All of a sudden Roman finds himself in front of judges fighting for clients which he shouldn’t be doing for many reasons. It is at this point that the screenplay loses its way and the theme of losing one’s moral center turns into an uninteresting thriller and even Denzel Washington who gives a fine odd-ball character performance loses the audience.

Though it is a given that Farrell is, like Washington, a fine actor the two just don’t seem to be working together in the same film. There definitely should have been more of Carmen Ejogo!

“Roman J. Israel, Esq.” goes downhill after the first hour and really can’t be recommended unless you are a diehard fan of Washington, and I am, but still it is a no.

Movie trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CItEtnp3nPY

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Golden Corral Nov 23 2017 collage

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