Physical Evidence (1989) – Review

1 1/2 Stars

Burt Reynolds stars as a suspended cop with a reputation for violence who’s accused of murdering in cold blood. All the physical evidence points to the detective but his court appointed lawyer, an attractive female with little experience is the only one who believes in his innocence. Although her confidence is shifted when incriminating evidence and untruthful alibis start piling up. Is Burt a good cop being framed or a maniacal killer, murdering for his own financial benefit?

Physical Evidence is a limp thriller with no suspense and even less attention to detail. Sure, Reynolds is accused of murder but he his still allowed to roam the streets conducting his own side-investigation while on trial. There is even a scene in which Burt beats up on a group of goons, I’m sure this falls under some court violation. All this would not be so glaring if the film hadn’t been straddled with a weak script from producer/writer Steve Ransohoff and Bill Phillips and lackluster direction from Michael Crichton (yes, that Michael Crichton).

Aiming for the box-office and critical success of films like Jagged Edge and Fatal Attraction; Physical Evidence is a forgettable tale about characters with little appeal, portrayed by leads with zero chemistry. The half-hearted romance between defendant, and lawyer is laughable, much like the line reading from Theresa Russell. A total waste of the enormous charisma of Burt Reynolds, who seems be to reading the script for the first time onscreen. Among the many commercial bombs that eventually snuck a once bright career.

Director: Michael Crichton
Stars: Burt Reynolds, Theresa Russell, Ned Beatty

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