Misconduct, film review: ‘Anthony Hopkins and Al Pacino in compellingly terrible film’

Anthony Hopkins. Picture: Steve Dietl

Anthony Hopkins. Picture: Steve Dietl - Credit: Archant

Misconduct is a truly terrible film; but it is at least a compelling terrible film.

For the last half of the film, I was bursting to use the lavatory, but couldn’t tear myself away from the ridiculous calvacade of random twists and non sequiteurs unfolding on screen.

It can loosely be described as a legal thriller but apart from having a few lawyers in it, legal procedure is given a wide berth in a wayward plot about a moderately corrupt lawyer (Duhamel) taking on a fantastically evil billionaire (Hopkins).

For about an hour, the plot – which throws in murder, kidnapping and blackmail – kind of makes sense, but after that it becomes close to incoherent, with very few scenes bearing much relationship to the one before.

It does have a really tremendous cast, most of whom flounder spectacularly.


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The women all do badly but no worse than Pacino, whose ‘who-ha’ bluster seems to be covering his bewilderment at where he has ended up.

Of course, logic would suggest that getting all these top-class actors together to co-star in a vehicle for Duhamel – a perfomer best known for playing the stupid soldier in the first three Transformers movies – might be at the heart of the problem; especially as he’s been cast as a super smart lawyer.

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You should judge an actor not by his best roles, but by his worst.

Hopkins is ridiculous in this film, but on his own terms.

He’s like late era ‘Fat Brando’ – but instead of the wilful self destructiveness, he projects a sense of serene contentment.

He seems to be basking in the joy of being paid for such silliness.

Rating: 1/5 stars

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