Friday, April 1, 2011

The Lincoln Lawyer: The Book And Film

I'm the kind of person that enjoys reading the book before watching the film, because then you're able to analyze whether or not the film met the expectations of the book. Doing the reverse may very well be easier, but on many occasions, the film does not do the book justice. There are several examples of films that didn't do justice to the book and it'll probably continue to happen unless more directors come in and decide that their intention is going to be "revolve the film around the book, allow what occurred in the book to play the role of creativity, and not add in anything just to satisfy the role of your top paying actor or actress or because you think it's best." However, the length also plays a part. In this case, it's a bit more understandable.

With that being said, I read Michael Connelly's "The Lincoln Lawyer" in order to prepare for the film that came out in March. I previously read "The Poet" by Connelly, which I felt was a whiplash thriller that kept my attention. "The Lincoln Lawyer" is the start of the Mickey Haller series, in which Haller is a defense attorney who's half-brother is Harry Bosch, used in several of Connelly's other novels. Haller is a suave and cocky lawyer who is defending a client named Louis Roulet, who is accused of murder. The "The Lincoln Lawyer" is titled so, because Haller rides around in a Lincoln.

The film features Matthew McConaughey as Mickey Haller, and he fit the role just fine. He brought out Haller's suave and cocky attitude, which was just what needed to be done. Ryan Phillippe played Louis Roulet, who I didn't expect would be casted as the murderer, but still played the part and did it well. William H. Macy plays the role of Frank Levin, named Raul Levin in the book, who is Haller's investigator in the novel. Also in the film are Marisa Tomei, as Haller's ex-wife, Maggie McPherson, and Trace Adkins, as Eddie Vogel, who is a part of a biker gang.

Saying the the film was completely on key with the book would be saying too much, but I can say that the film did do the book justice. The most important points were covered by the film, and that's what matters most. As for the film itself, it was witty in the way in which the cast interacted and the stars were believable in their roles. A key plot point was left off toward the end between Haller and his ex-wife and daughter (which I will not spoil) and there wasn't any open ending for the possibility of any film sequels.

Since "The Lincoln Lawyer," Mickey Haller has been in three sequel novels, starting with "The Brass Verdict." The novel in itself is a good read that shows that Haller is a typical defense lawyer, who's witty and knows his business, and that's what being a lawyer is all about.

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