Directed by Joel Schumacher.
Written by Carol Doyle and Mary Agnes Donoghue.
Starring Cate Blanchett and Gerard McSorley.
Release Year: 2003
Review Date: 11/20/03
I really never have loved movies where they
show you the ending at the beginning of the film. Unless, of
course, the movie goes backwards for the entire film, like
Otherwise, it never works for me as a device
because then I find myself just waiting to see why things went the
way they did. In the case of “Veronica Guerin”, we find out at the
start that poor Veronica (Cate Blanchett) gets loaded with gunfire
while she sits in her car at a stoplight in Ireland back in June of
1996. Over the course of the next hour-and-a-half, we learn why
Veronica, a former small-time reporter that decided to start
reporting on crime in Dublin, gets herself killed after her repeated
attempts to learn about the dirty dealings of drug trafficker John
Gilligan (Gerard McSorley).
Blanchett is quite good in the role, and it
was fairly interesting watching her talk to suspects or members of
government to try and coerce them into giving up the goods. I
learned a fair amount about crime in Ireland, and who doesn’t love
Colin Farrell in a cameo? (He worked for director Joel Schumacher
in his breakout role “Tigerland”, so Farrell probably just owed
Schumacher a favor or something.) I love impassioned Irish guys
yelling, screaming, saying “shit” like “Shiite” or being all surly
when they are drinking at a bar.
But, as I write this, I realize what a blase
film “Veronica Guerin” really was; there was really nothing very
extraordinary about it, save for the fact that it happened in real
life. The cinematography seemed pretty average to me. Scenes with
Veronica’s family feel blindly inserted, as if the director
remembered that every so often, he should remind us that Veronica
has a family that she is neglecting. (On that note, one of the
clumsiest scenes of the year comes after Veronica’s house has been
threatened by gunfire; she goes back to work, the husband comes into
her office and tries to get her to come to bed...it was like nothing
had just happened, and then the family starts dancing 30 seconds
later. Almost as bad as the emotional transitions in “The 13th
Warrior.”) The bad guys seem like your typical thugs; McSorley is
good, as is Ciaran Hinds as John Traynor, but nothing they do seems
to be very interesting. The cops predictably don’t want to help
Veronica in her search; the government doesn’t seem to want to help,
And then, we get the finale, where we
already know that Veronica is going to die...so, Schumacher makes
the finale a long, drawn-out affair where we get to see the killing
from multiple vantage points and a number of camera angles, even
though we know she’s a goner!
Strange. The film has done quite well with
critics but something must be fishy, since the film is making so
little cash. The people have spoken!
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard