The Pelican Brief

Review Date:
Director: Alan J. Pakula
Writer: Alan J. Pakula
Producers: Pieter Jan Brugge, Alan J. Pakula
Julia Roberts
Denzel Washington
Sam Shepard
An “okay” suspense thriller, in the same vein as most other Grisham novels turned into flicks during the 90s. A naive up-and-comer stumbles onto some nastiness being committed by his/her higher-ups and the chase is on. Lawyers, sexual tension, laptops and chase scenes ensue.

For the most part, this film kept me entertained. I’m not so bothered by Julia Roberts as some other people are, especially not in films of this sort, in which she actually stretches, and doesn’t just play that same ol’ “romantic comedy trophy” chick. She was good in this movie. But I’m an even bigger Denzel fan and he comes through gangbusters with yet another solid performance here. Sure, it’s not a stand-out showing by any stretch of the imagination, but this dude’s got charisma, and he sucks me in every time.

The story of this film was also pretty interesting for the most part, dropping clues here and there, offering a cheesy chase sequence there and here. I did however find myself a little bored about 3/4 of the way through as a lot of the “same stuff” seemed to keep happening. I mean, the two leads were obviously being chased by others in the movie, but it got kind of ridiculous at some point, as every move that they made, seemed to be monitored by their followers (like every phone in the world was bugged, every car, every person, etc…). A little ridiculous in that respect.

And despite the film also running at least 20 minutes past its prime, I did manage to remain involved for the most part, and was interested in seeing how things would turn out for the daring duo in the end (it’s to note that even though Denzel/Julia do not “technically” hook up romantically at the end of this film, Roberts recently admitted in an interview with the “Actor’s Studio” (with that pretentious interviewer) that she and Washington’s character are actually “lovers” by the end of the movie, as she is apparently sitting in his cabin at the end of the flick (although this is hard to pick up if you don’t look for it– pretty kewl)).

Definitely an easy rental and a good way to drown a couple of hours if you’re looking for a little suspense, some law stuff, lotsa secondary players and a couple of renowned leads delivering the goods.

(c) 2021 Berge Garabedian

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