The Rainmaker

Bomb Rating: 

I wonder if Francis Ford Coppola sits around his house nowadays trying to figure out the precise moment when he became a hack. If he's nice to himself maybe he only goes back to "Jack." But maybe in a particularly deep bout of depression he goes all the way back to "The Cotton Club" and realizes he's sucked for quite some time. Who knows?

I've been hearing how different this adaptation of another John Grisham novel would be because Coppola was in the director's chair. If anything, Grisham's hero is now an even more unbelievable do-gooding twit.

Not only does beginning attorney Rudy Baylor (Matt Damon) want to bring down a huge insurance company and beat the crap out of their lead attorney, Leo F. Drummond (Jon Voight), by taking on the case of a dying leukemia victim (Johnny Whitworth), but he's also got to find time to save the life of an abused woman (Claire Danes). Thank goodness those abused women are so damn cute, huh? The only thing lacking was the scene where Rudy runs into a burning building to save a family of baby seals.

Actually, more than anything, what really ruined this film was another pathetic performance by Jon Voight, who, given his recent roles in "Anaconda," "U-Turn," and "Most Wanted," is the acting analogy to a proctologist who's constantly sticking his fingers down his patients' throats. How could a man this despicable be successful defending a deceitful insurance company against sympathetic poor people? Answer: he couldn't.

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