The tagline for Lionsgate’s “Reasonable Doubt”, coming out March 18 on Blu-Ray and DVD, is “Proof is the Burden.” While it would be nearly impossible to fulfill the promise of that tagline, the film is hobbled from the very start by a ludicrous set-up, and it only gets more ludicrous as it goes on.
“Reasonable Doubt” stars Dominic Cooper as the fantastically named Mitch Brockden, a district attorney with a bright future. (As he brags in the expository opening scene, “I never lose.”) One night, after partying with his buddies, Brockden drives home drunk and gets involved in a fatal hit and run. Fearing for his career, Brockden sits idly by while Clinton Davis, played by Samuel L. Jackson, is charged with the crime. In a fortunate twist, Brockden actually prosecutes the case. Jackson gets off when, in another fortunate twist, Brockden’s step-brother with a criminal past decides to intervene. Oh,and in a less fortunate twist, Jackson’s character might be a serial killer, whose motivation is revenge after his family was killed by a serial killer a few years ago. The film is filled with nonsensical twists like this. It’s a Moebius strip of silliness.
“Reasonable Doubt” isn’t helped by its generic look and direction. The hit and run sequence is a nice little bit of suspense, with a well-executed jolt at the end, but the rest of the suspense sequences are confusing and uninvolving. The film is shot in 2.40:1 widescreen format but feels clipped and small in scale, like a television movie.
Gloria Reuben co-stars as a detective who may be on to Jimmy’s secret. She’s serviceable in a nothing role. As the lead, Cooper is miscast as a charismatic district attorney, but he’s fine when he’s panicked and confused, which comprises about 80 percent of the movie. He at least seems to care, which can’t be said for Samuel L. Jackson, whose phoned-in performance could best be described by the phrase “the agents met my quote.” Jackson is barely in the film, and when he does show up, he feels completely disengaged from the proceedings. Jackson barely even makes facial expressions in the film, and this includes a monologue where he talks about how his family was killed! Unfortunately, his bored tone is representative of the rest of “Reasonable Doubt.”
Click on the slideshow above to view stills from “Reasonable Doubt,” and view the film's trailer above. For the latest Blu-Ray news and reviews, subscribe to the Blu-Ray Examiner today.
The video is crisp, clear, workmanlike and completely undistinctive. It’s perfect for this film. The sound is equally average. Not bad, not great.
- Behind-the-Scenes with Cast and Crew Interviews
- Extended Interviews with Samuel L. Jackson, Dominic Cooper and Gloria Reuben
- Deleted Scenes