Case 39 (*)

Directed by Christian Alvart

Starring Renée Zellweger, Bradley Cooper, Ian McShane, Jodell Ferland, Callum Keith Rennie, Kerry O’Malley

Written by Ray Wright

About 15 minutes into Case 39, social worker Emily Jenkins (Zellweger) and her friend, Det. Mike Barron (McShane), make a miraculous save of an innocent little girl (Ferland).  The persons who had placed her in danger, her parents (Rennie and O’Malley), appear exhausted and without remorse.  It was at this point I realized that this movie had to be stopped.  In the interest of fairness, I decided to stick it out.  Who knows?  Perhaps this movie will not turn out the way every scene to this point indicated it would.  If only.

When a movie follows a worn out plot, the best thing you can do is hope for style points.  Alvart gets no extra points here.  His directoral skill is unremarkable.  Some how, he managed to suck the life out of Zellweger and Cooper, who plays her casual boyfriend Douglas J. Ames.  Why Ames has a middle name, I am not sure.  His screen time is so limited, they may well have called him extra #4.  McShane, who was a big reason I decided to watch this movie, at least keeps his dignity by staying in the periphery.  His scenes, at least, were worth a look.

I will reveal no plot points here, because I don’t want to ruin the 5, 10 or…, no, just 5 minutes it might take for you to figure out what has happened.  Suffice to say that by the time that Zellweger’s character, Jenkins, is looking for ways to end it, I was rooting for her to succeed.  You, too, could suffer with her.

Or you could just watch the trailer again.  It gives at least an idea that the plot may be original.

If only.

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