RICHARD JEWELL – Rated R – 2 hrs. 9 mins.
DIRECTOR: CLINT EASTWOOD
WRITERS: Marie Brenner, Billy Ray
STARRING: Paul Walter Hauser, Sam Rockwell, Olivia Wilde, Jon Hamm, and Kathy Bates
As we meet the meek and mild Security Guard Richard Jewell (Paul Walter Hauser), he is laser focused on getting back into law enforcement, but for the time being, he’ll settle for being a security guard at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta…
When Richard finds a suspicious backpack on the grounds, he notifies the police in the area of what he’s found, as he works feverishly to get the hundreds of people near the backpack a safe distance away.
When the package explodes, killing and injuring many in its path, this man who tried to save as many lives as possible, has now been labeled a terrorist, and a killer by the media, local law enforcement, and the FBI.
With no choice but to hire a lawyer, Richard reaches out to past fellow employee Watson Bryant (Sam Rockwell), in a desperate attempt to save his own life and reputation from the powers that be, and that of his mama’s too…
I give RICHARD JEWELL a rating between MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN and WAIT AND CATCH THIS FILM ON DVD. Who better to tell this story, than the man who has brought us such incredible films as SPACE COWBOY, MYSTIC RIVER, MILLION DOLLAR BABY, JERSEY BOYS, and a few other exceptional true stories, including SULLY and AMERICAN SNIPER – the one, the only Clint Eastwood! This true story brings to light the real tragedy that occurs when someone is wrongly accused, and the suffering and torment that the media, and law enforcement can inflict, under the guise of justice. Sam Rockwell is brilliant playing defense Lawyer Watson Bryant. Kathy Bates is receiving accolades too for her small, but significant role as Richard Jewell’s Mother, Bobi Jewell. And who else to play the POS FBI agent that is hell bent on bringing Richard to justice than St. Louis’s own Jon Hamm, who’s made a career out of playing these types of roles. The only deterrent for me throughout this film was the good, but eventually rather annoying character of Richard Jewell, played by Paul Walter Hauser. Hauser’s quirky, yet undeniably loyal to law enforcement persona plays out well at first, but his portrayal of this vilified hero, begins to wain on my nerves by the end of the film. It pains me to say this, as I’m sure Walker tried to recreate a real-life representation of the man himself, Richard Jewell, but I just found that Walker’s performance was bugging me profusely by this films end. If you enjoy true stories that take you deep into real people’s lives, then by all means, please head to a theater this weekend and catch Richard Jewell on a big screen near you. But if you are thinking that this film is going to be as entertaining as Sully or American Sniper, it’s not that goo, so you might want to just wait to catch Richard Jewell in the comfort of your home, once it hits on Netflix, or other streaming service.