Film Review: Miscoduct

[usr 1.5]

Well, what can I say… This film is an epic fail even with such stellar cast of titan actors like Anthony Hopkins and Al Pacino. I can’t believe that I’m about to say this, but I really did not enjoy any part of this film. I did the “watch it three times” mantra, and usual, yes I am such an optimist I can find something good about a film. I really did try this time, but there was nothing there for me.

Written by Simon Boyes and Adam Mason, Misconduct is a thriller that is too complicated to be coherent about what was going on. A young ambitious lawyer (Josh Duhamel) handles the case against a big pharmaceutical executive (Anthony Hopkins) while finds himself involved in a lot more. Death, betrayal, who-done-it with more twists and turns than Lombard Street in San Francisco.

There was a strong start – intro with stories about a pharmaceuticals company whose drugs are killing people, owned by tycoon Arthur Denning. Then, an argument between him and his very young wife Emily Hynes played by Malin Akerman. The wife then goes missing and is presumed kidnapped after Denning receives a text of her battered face.

Denning responds by calling in a specialist security firm and Jane Clemente played by the lovely Julia Stiles.

Jump back a week and we met the ambitious lawyer, Ben Cahill and see that he had a connection to the missing wife of the executive he is prosecuting – they used to be lovers. He is now married, although there’s distance and apparent problems in the marriage. Now this excellent lawyer works for Charles Abrams, played by Al Pacino, who seems reluctant to prosecute Denning. So does she know who he is, or is this genuinely just a coincidence that she contacted him, or something far more sinister?

It is all far too confusing, making this thriller hard to watch. If you blink and miss a bit it can throw you off the whole story and it becomes difficult to follow. With the film being so hard to follow I can’t stop wondering if it is a film for the masses.

I persevered as long as I could and found myself losing it about halfway through the film. Can we blame the acting…nope, no way. We are talking the crème de la crème of actors. My biggest disappointment has to be the fact these two heavyweight actors Hopkins and Pacino met in such a disappointing film. That first meeting really should have been a cinema classic, not a blockbuster bust.

I am hoping this is one off for director Shintaro Shimosawa, known more as a co producer on films like The Grudge, Grudge 2, and for writing the screenplay Repentance. Misconduct is his first directing attempt, hopefully things will get a lot better.

I can’t in all honesty recommend this film because I was personally unimpressed. If asked to give a rating, I’d go 1.5/5 at a push and that is solely on the actors. Sometimes simple is best.