Presumed Innocent Reviews
Part of its strength is the intricate, intertwining plot. Rusty is assigned to find the rapist murderer of a woman he had an affair with who also worked with him and slept with his boss. Her murder ruins his boss run at reelection for the DA and when the new DA charges Rusty, Rusty finds out that he's been framed for her murder, his old boss has turned on him and the judge also slept with his mistress. All of these conflicting motives combine to create an engaging and mysterious story where the result is never predictable and the circumstances are often incredibly strange.
The most interesting part of the film is the shocking conclusion where we find that the one motive that was largely ignored, Rusty's wife's jealousy, was the most essential motive to the film and it set that ugly chain of events in motion. In the case of this noir, the grim anti-hero is actually outdone by two femme-fatales, his conniving mistress and his vengeful wife. This provides a strong sense of mistrust both between the characters and the plot, in the uncertainty of what will happen next. My one parting thought is that the sensual scenes in the film are incredible. Rusty's mistress is beautiful and the scenes are intimately captured with a lot of style.
The case against Sabich grows more persuasive, and he is further undermined by the way he has handled the evidence. He had an adulterous and torrid affair with Polhemus that she broke off, creating the suspicion that the murder was the enraged act of a rejected lover. Factors and constituencies beyond his control and even his understanding come into play, and he is formally charged with the killing.
Throughout the majority of this film, I was bored. Harrison Ford was not at his most dynamic, charming, or interesting, and the supporting players were also relatively bland; when Raul Julia is bland in a film, you've got a story. I was all set to give it two stars or lower, and then the end happened. It got me. I'm usually pretty good at predicting the ends of films, especially mysteries, but I was truly stumped, and I don't mind admitting it. What's great about the reveal is that it's not unfair. All the clues are there, but they're so subtly placed that it's understandable that I didn't pick up on them.
Overall, while it's no The Usual Suspects, this film gets bonus points for its unpredictable and compelling ending.