Movie Stats & Links
||Matt Damon, Claire Danes, Jon Voight, Danny DeVito, Danny
Glover, Mary Kay Place, Mickey Rourke
A deep story line. Depends on your kid.
Just drama type stuff.
Danny DeVito is a pisser.
Not really, just most of the movie.
Miss Birdie, after telling Rudy she wants to give all of
her money to a TV preacher: "He's got a lot of overhead and
his jet is getting old."
Francis Ford Coppola
Michael Douglas, Steven Reuther, Fred Fuchs
A Movie Review
"John Grisham's The Rainmaker" Ahh, the big
time, when you can get your own name in the title of a movie. Will it
make a movie great? No. Will it bring more people to the theater? It
sure won't hurt as most of the movie public are already familiar with
past movies adapted from Grisham novels, "The Firm," "The Pelican
Brief," and "The Chamber" to name a few, as well as the riveting
novels attributed to the author. And you know what else doesn't hurt?
Well, enlist the direction of Francis Ford Coppola, bring in the
likes of up-and-coming Matt Damon and Claire Danes, and further fill
the movie with acting great's like Danny DeVito, Jon Voight, Mickey
Rourke, Mary Kay Place, and a whole bunch more. Is "John Grisham's
The Rainmaker" a great film? You bet your ass.
The story kinda goes like this - Rudy Baylor (Matt Damon) is a
fresh out of law school youngin' just looking for a job, and to maybe
change the feeling people have about lawyers. Unlike most in his
classes with jobs landing at their feet, he has to bust his ass and
ends up working for Bruiser Stone (Mickey Rourke), a, well, let's
just say if some lawyers give lawyers a bad name then he is one of
them. Rudy, who is looking to uphold his moral standards in a field
that has seemed to lost them, has a couple of cases lined up before
joining Brusier's bunch of ambulance chasers, with his most notable
ambulance chaser being Deck Shifflet (Danny DeVito). Bruiser's past
catches up to him, and Deck and Rudy are now out of work and set out
to begin their own law firm with Rudy as the lawyer (he passes his
bar exam on the first try) and Deck as a "paralawyer" (he has failed
the bar exam five times). So they're off.
The couple of cases Rudy had lined up are now his to handle. One
is a simple re-write of a Will for a delightful old lady, Miss Birdie
(Teresa Wright), who ends up becoming both Rudy's landlady but more
like his grandmother. However, it is Rudy's other case, versus an
insurance company, that most of this story is rotated around, and
this is a case that Rudy really has no place in being, until you
realize at the end that it is his innocence, his hope in the human
spirit, and his moral ground, that makes him, well, not really a good
lawyer, but someone who just wants what is right for his client.
The insurance case is pretty simple - A family from a poorer
neighborhood has been paying health insurance for years, but when
their son, Donny Ray Black (Johnny Whitworth), comes down with
leukemia, the big, bad insurance company denies his claim. What is
supposed to happen, in the insurance company's eyes, is that Dot
Black (Mary Kay Place), Donny's mother, should just accept the
insurance company's denial and let her son die. Well, Dot does what
she isn't supposed to do and finds a lawyer, in the likes of our
hero, Rudy. What comes about is now your typical David versus Goliath
episode in the likes of Rudy and Deck versus Leo F. Drummond (Jon
Voight) and his way-too-overpaid team of attorneys representing Great
Benefit, the insurance company whose benefits are less than great.
Guess who wins?
In between you also get a nice love story between Rudy and Kelly
Rider (Claire Danes) who gets beat up one too many times by her
husband, Cliff (Andrew Shue), for Rudy to stand by and do nothing.
She ends up needing a lawyer for her manslaughter charge (Oops, did I
give too much away?), and it's Rudy riding his white horse, or rather
driving his P.O.S.- mobile (That's "Piece of Shit" for you uneducated
types) to the rescue.
Now the end results aren't too hard to figure out in this movie:
Rudy and the Blacks win their case, but there is a wrinkle in their
winning. Rudy gets the girl. Rudy gets put in the nice old lady's
Will. And Deck is back on the street, seemingly chasing a way to pass
the bar exam, or maybe to find some more ambulances. But what makes
this movie great isn't the "no surprises" ending, it's the fact that
for "John Grisham's The Rainmaker" you get a cast of characters
playing great roles in a story that Coppola has been able to make all
of the intertwining story lines meld into one fantastic film. You
might laugh when Deck slams a law book in Drummond's gut, saying "Go
memorize it." as he smirkly shows that this guy who keeps failing the
bar exam knows more about law than the mega-million dollar lawyer;
You might cry when Donny Ray gives the closing statement in the
trial, via videotape, because he has already died; and you might
cheer when the jury gives the verdict. Then again, you might leave
the film wondering just how this "wet behind the ears" lawyer in Rudy
could have won this case, and how in the hell the high-priced lawyers
missed one key piece of evidence.
This is a great film. You've got lots of drama, a great story
about the little guy versus the giant, and some great acting. But,
will Coppola be remembered for "John Grisham's The Rainmaker" the way
he is remembered for "The Godfather" trilogy or "Apocalypse Now?" I
doubt it. There is something about the mob or war that grips the
public more than a lawyer. Maybe that's too bad.
With that I'm giving "John Grisham's The Rainmaker" 4 1/2 stars
out of 5. If you like a good drama, this is a must see; If you prefer
lots of blood, gunfire, explosions, or naked chicks, stay home. No,
wait, go see the movie anyway, if for anything, Danny DeVito as Deck.
That's it for this one, I'm The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!