Legal Eagles | Chicago Reader

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Assistant DA Robert Redford teams up with storefront lawyer Debra Winger to clear performance artist Daryl Hannah of a murder charge. Directed by Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters), it's a pleasant commercial undertaking, though everything about this $30-million production seems a bit overscaled: the stars are too big for their parts, the mystery subplot is too complicated to take a comfortable backseat to the romantic comedy, the special effects (which include two spectacular fires) are too big for the action, and even the wide-screen image is too big for the intimate, offhanded humor. What's most pleasing about the picture is the way it avoids the hommage syndrome: though Reitman is working with some time-honored Hollywood formulas, he doesn't feel compelled to constantly refer us, through quotes and in-jokes, to the older, better films (North by Northwest, The Thin Man, Adam's Rib) that obviously inspired the project. Reitman allows the familiar situations to unroll as if he were the first to discover them, and it gives the film a happy illusion of freshness. With Brian Dennehy, Terence Stamp, and Steven Hill.

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