It has been a number of years since there has been a good trail-based movie. It seemed almost as if the art form died out after the nineties, but The Trial looks to restore faith in the previously-fallen style. The Trial is based on a book by Robert Whitlow, a lawyer that is able to provide some realism to this flick that is sorely missing in many similar films.
The film itself shows a lawyer at eir absolute worst. Where killing oneself seems like the only option, there becomes a reason for Kent McClain (Matthew Modine) to live again. This is because ey has been tapped to take part in a capital punishment case that has tremendously important implications. Despite being innocent of the crime, a Marine is being charged with the murder of eir fiancée. In order to go and restore the meaning to eir life, McClain has to go and save the life of another. Modine is aided here through the inclusion of a stellar cast, one that is filled out by Robert Forster (Jackie Brown), Bob Gunton (Peacemakers, Buffalo Soldiers) and Nikki Deloach (North Shore, Days of Our Lives).
While it seems almost as if most courtroom films are tremendously drab in terms of scenery, costuming, and music, The Trial looks to shake things up. This means that there are certain vibrant moments in which the scenery threatens to take over or bits and pieces of the incidental score that properly headline the action in the film. Robert Whitlow’s The Trial has not received the accolades that it deserves, but here’s to hoping that the home video release (by Fox) will get this film in enough homes to showcase its allure.
The Trial (DVD) / 2010 Fox / 90 Minutes / http://www.fox.com / http://www.thetrial-themovie.com