DVD Review: John Grisham’s The Rainmaker (Special Collector’s Edition)

John Grisham’s The Rainmaker is a good, solid film with an engaging story and fine acting throughout. Matt Damon leads as Rudy Baylor, a recent law school grad. Baylor is forced by circumstance to work for Bruiser (Mickey Rourke), a bottom feeding lawyer at the very bottom, mentored by Deck (Danny DeVito)–who has ambulance chasing down to an art, but has blown the Bar Exam five times. Round this out with Jon Voigt as the insurance company’s high priced talent, Danny Glover as the sympathetic judge, and Mary Kay Place as the mother of a boy about Rudy’s age who is dying of cancer (because the insurer won’t pay for a bone marrow transplant), and you’ve got a movie that rings like an anvil. Did I mention solid?

The sub-plot featuring Claire Danes as an abused wife who catches Rudy’s eye as he’s hiding out in the hospital cafeteria, studying for his Bar Exam, has disaster written all over it; and doesn’t disappoint.

I did mention solid, didn’t I? This one has substance to burn and will hold your eyes.

Solid.

The Special Features section includes commentary by Director Francis Ford Coppola and Danny DeVito, along with deleted scenes and screen tests; but for me the real treasure is ‘Francis Ford Coppola Directs John Grishams The Rainmaker’ which is a mouthful but not to be missed. In it we learn of taping a rock to Matt Damon’s back so he will look ill at ease, or replacing Claire Danes’ wheelchair seat with a block of ice to help her look unwell and make her tremble slightly. This section is full of such things; the shoving match between Damon and Voigt in the parking lot to get their dander up for a confrontation scene is great.

Very solid.

Lee Crawford
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For more reviews from Lee, and the rest of the Crimespree crew, check out the index of reviews.