Iron Man takes off his suit to become a lawyer and defend his court Judge father. Sign me up.
Hank Palmer (Robert Downey. Jr) is a big city lawyer, one of the best, who returns to his small hometown after his mother dies. Being apart from his family for such a long time has caused tension and estranged relationships so he isn't exactly welcomed back by everyone, especially not his father Judge Joseph Palmer (Robert Duvall).
After the funeral, Hank and his brothers go for a drink at their local bar while their father claims to go out for groceries. The morning after, when Hank is due to leave, he discovers a dent in his father's car. As details of the incident begin to unravel, Joseph, the town's main judge, is suspected of murder. Trying to piece back his relationship with his family and the people in town, Hank stays to defend his father's case.
After spending so much time seeing Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, it was refreshing to see him take this role. Hank is impulsive and clever, his dialogue with each of the characters keeps you focused as well as entertained and entranced in the storyline. Robert Duvall plays Judge Palmer and gosh can that man steal a scene. Together they play off each others traits to reveal how similar the father and son are, both stubborn and in denial. With great ease, they carry this film talking you through this case and it's hidden secrets.
Having a murder case as the main story line would have been enough for me but sub plots overcomplicated and overshadowed the films main focus for me. Sure have his teenage sweetheart in the picture and let them reconnect but don't make it all about that. This movie doesn't need 100 plot twists to help it seem more intense, the acting did that for me just fine. I wanted to see more of the family bonding and Joseph's history with the victim.
The pace is kept steady throughout this lengthy film, the laugh out moments help a great deal though, keep it light hearted and less dramatic. Maybe a few scenes ran for too long though, losing my interest as they dragged on. Cut it a bit shorter and the tension would have been nicely built up and I would keep my eyes glued to the screen.
As much as both Robert's gave their all into this story of reconnecting and justice, it's overcomplicated sub plots brought me out of the zone one to many times.