Friday, March 11, 2011

"True Crime:" Clint scores as the lovable rogue

Title: True Crime
Released: 1999
Genre: "His Girl Friday" meets "Dead Man Walking"
Notable for: Clint plays a ladies' man at age 69
Coolest thing Clint does: Beds his boss' wife without meaning anything by it

We are obligated to report Clint does not shoot anyone, punch anyone, or threaten through clenched teeth to kill anyone in “True Crime.”

Nothing blows up and the whole movie has only one car chase.

Despite those handicaps, Clint is pretty good for an old man.

He plays an old-school newspaper reporter for the Oakland Tribune who is a bad husband, a bad father and a bad employee.

He hits on women who are much younger. He is an alcoholic who falls off the wagon and drives drunk. He smokes cigarettes in no-smoking areas. He owns the shittiest car imaginable. He is rude and self-centered without even realizing it.

The character sounds like a jerk, but Clint manages to come across as a lovable rogue.

The plot is entertaining but so far-fetched it could not be meant to be taken seriously.

Newspaper editors played by James Woods (an irreverent but likable asshole) and Denis Leary (a complete douchebag) assign Clint to interview a convicted killer eight hours before his execution.

Clint’s hunches instantly sense the man on death row is innocent. His style of tracking down the facts is best illustrated by his reaction when the condemned man professes faith in Jesus Christ.

"Frankly, I don’t give a rat’s ass about Jesus Christ,” Clint says. Nice guy.

In a few hours, Clint finds proof of innocence that went undetected through six years of police investigation, criminal trial and appeal hearings.

With last-minute heroics, Clint convinces the governor to call off the execution just as poison is pumped toward the innocent man’s vein in the death chamber.

Even without a gun, Clint is sort of a man’s man who does not give a crap what anyone else thinks of him. It’s appealing because all along we can see he is in the right.

As a side note, we laughed to see Clint, who was nearly 70 in real life, cast as the father of a girl who appeared about 3 years old. We stopped laughing when we learned the girl was Francesca Fisher-Eastwood, his daughter in real life. He has another daughter three years younger.

Damn, Clint. You the man.

Next up: “Space Cowboys.”

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