erik lundegaard

The Lincoln Lawyer
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The Lincoln Lawyer (2011)

WARNING: IN RE: SPOILERS

Imagine you’re a rich yuppie who likes raping high-end prostitutes and then cutting them up with your custom switchblade. Imagine you’ve killed at least one girl this way and gotten away with it because they pinned the crime on some Latino schmuck now doing a life sentence in San Quentin because his lawyer—someone no one’s ever heard of, who works out of the backseat of his Lincoln Continental, for shit’s sake—got him to cop a plea. Then imagine, oops, your luck runs out. The latest girl you’re trying to rape and stab to death bonk-bonks you on the head and the cops arrest you for assault. Bummer, dude. On the plus side they think it’s an isolated incident, not part of a chain of beatings, rapes and murders. And you’re rich, you’ve got a family lawyer from a high-powered law firm, and you could hire anyone, even Gerry Spence, to be your criminal defense attorney. So who do you hire?

You hire the Lincoln lawyer, of course.

Why would you do that? Didn’t he get the Latino schmuck to cop a plea to a crime you know he didn’t commit? So if he couldn’t get an innocent man off, why would you think he’d get your guilty ass off?

Ah, but that’s not the point. The point is that this shitty lawyer, whom we’ll call Mick Haller (Matthew McConaughey), will do some investigating, probably with his investigation team of Lorna (Pell James) and Frank Levin (William H. Macy), and they might just discover the parallels between this case and the Latino schmuck case and put 2 and 2 together. Which means you’ll be up for murder.

Hey, wouldn’t they be worse?

No, but dude, you forgot attorney-client privilege! When the attorney finds this shit out, he can’t say shit.

But wouldn’t that be true of any attorney? Why hire the one who’s most likely to find out you’re a serial killer?

No, see, he has to defend you. Cuz that’s like his job, man.

But can’t he simply quit the case? Can’t private attorneys quit cases before trials begin? Particularly if one case is adverse to a client in another case?

No, but ... think of the mind-fuck, man. I mean, you’d be totally messing with that dude’s mind. First you’d make him realize that he made an innocent man plead guilty; then you’d make him defend you: a guilty man. You’d be totally messin’ with him.

So wouldn’t that make him less effective? And wouldn’t your freedom rely on his effectiveness?

That’s the great thing! Lincoln lawyer turns out to be the bitchingest lawyer around. He’s got, like, biker clients, and he’s bribing parole officers and court policemen. And that family lawyer? Played by the warden in “Shawshank Redemption”? Lincoln lawyer starts smokin’ on his ass with the law and shit. And the prosecutor of the case? Played by the coach in “Glory Road”? He really doesn’t know shit. He just sits there, doesn’t even object, but he’s got, like, a hot prosecutor chick with him, with hot glasses and all. And Lincoln lawyer, he’s got a smokin’ hot ex-wife, played by the chick who played the stripper in “The Wrestler,” and they doin’ it all the time even though they exes. Plus he’s got a black chauffeur who’s totally street smart.

But I still don’t get why the Lincoln can’t quit the case. It hasn’t even gone to trial yet.

No, but he’s got a plan, man. See, he’s going to get the dude off, cuz he’s ethically bound to do it, right? But he’s gonna plant the seed so the police will realize preppy killed that other chick and the Latino dude is totally innocent. So he’s gonna get him off and put preppy behind bars for the original crime. Two birds, right?

But don’t the police wind up arresting the rich serial killer, Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillippe), for only one night? Then they let him go? And doesn’t Louis then try to kill Haller’s family?

Yeah, but Lincoln lawyer’s a step ahead, yo. He sends family away, gets his chauffeur to get him a gun, and brings in the biker dudes to mess with preppie. Mess him UP.

But some of the crimes, the murder of Frank Levin, for example, right before the trial began, were commited by the mother, right? Frances Fisher? That’s the twist at the end. Mick Haller thinks he’s safe, but suddenly there’s Mommie Dearest holding a gun.

Yo, that skinny bitch NUTS. Plugged my boy. But he got her back good. And in the end he slinging it but still riding that Lincoln.

And that’s the end of the movie.

Word.

Yes. My word.

—April 26, 2011

© 2011 Erik Lundegaard