I like to hear a decent mystery and sometimes watch a court room drama unfold too. I realize not all movies, let alone ones with a Christian based label, have to be all about presenting some sort of message and can sometimes be just for the sake of providing an entertaining story; conditioned that is their objective. I assume the entertainment idea of providing a clean, courtroom drama, alternative was the case for The Trial. Conditioned this movie was only to provide a clean courtroom story I felt they did a decent job.
The Trial, is about veteran lawyer Kent “Mac” McClain who is about to kill himself. He is depressed about his wife and children dying several years ago, but stops when the phone rings. He picks up the phone and is given the opportunity for one last serious court case, should he decide he still wants to retire for good. It involves the murder of a young college girl and her boyfriend Pete is charged with the deed. The eccentric young man, claims to be innocent and although Pete’s story doesn’t sound very strong legally speaking, Mac eventually believes him and fights a court room battle in the hope of saving Pete from being condemned with the death penalty.
I usually don’t comment about this kinda thing, but I loved the camera work and the lighting a lot; very artistic. If the creators of The Trial had intended to promote a strong theological message then I didn’t see a very strong one, though they briefly had an epiphany moment for Mac about life being worth something, but in this case I don’t think they were out to prove a point necessarily. (so I’m not being hypocritical when it comes to my review for the Hometown Legend entry since I felt in that movie they WERE trying to write something theological in my opinion) I felt the story had a bit of a slow start, I assume much of that was for portraying Mac’s suicidal mindset. God is mentioned positively which is great and it leaves me to wonder why they can’t do that in mainstream Hollywood once in a while…? I wasn’t really a fan of Randy Wayne in this movie, I get his character was depressed but based on his performance in this movie and in To Save a Life he reminds me of a Christian version of Michael Cera, (in that although each role is a different person he seems very similar if not the exact same in tone and mannerisms) but then again I’ve only seen two of Wayne’s movies. I felt at the end of the movie it would have been cool if they had Mac and Dr. Wilkes expand their relationship into something more romantic. I have seen better court room dramas, and I don’t think it stood out much from mainstream court dramas besides it being clean and holding God in a positive light, but not a bad movie otherwise.
TCP Movie Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.