Operating System: MOVIE
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Just Cause is a film that relies on phony plot twists and steals openly from any other thriller that it can remember. If there was a drinking game requiring players to drink during every cinematic "homage," you'd be tanked after Just Cause's first 45 minutes. Take one case of racial injustice, place it in an exotic, exquisitely photographed location (the Florida Everglades), and bring in an outsider, played by a bankable star, to save the day. Make sure nothing appears as it seems. Add a couple of plot twists, some over-the-top character actors (Ed Harris, shamelessly riffing on Hannibal Lecter), stir, and serve. The big name in this case is Sean Connery, who plays a Harvard law professor summoned to the swamps by an apparently innocent death row inmate (Blair Underwood), who swears he didn't rape and kill that 11-year-old girl. He says he confessed because maverick psycho-cop Tanny Brown (Laurence Fishburne) made him play a solo game of Russian roulette. He says his Serial-killer neighbor on death row (Harris) committed the crime. Connery buys it, the audience buys it, and how could they not? Director Arne Glimcher (who made the lackluster Mambo Kings) coerces everyone with simplistic plot manipulations. Characters are given no depth, and the actors are pawns moved about like pieces on a Clue gameboard. --Dave McCoy
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