Clint Eastwood’s latest film, Richard Jewell, is based on the true story of the Centennial Olympic Park bombing in 1996 and it’s aftermath.
I’ll admit, this is an event that I had never heard of and knew nothing about, which was a large part of the intrigue when it came to watching this film as I was interested to find out more. This certainly isn’t Eastwood’s best effort but it is still a solid film with enough substance to warrant a viewing.
The strongest aspect of this film are the performances, which are fantastic and keep you hooked on the story throughout the film, which admittedly, can sometimes feel like a bit of a drag. Paul Walter Hauser is brilliant as Jewell, delivering a performance which makes the title character instantly likeable and sympathetic, which was a key factor in making this film a success. The film has a star-studded cast including the likes of Sam Rockwell, Olivia Wilde, Kathy Bates and John Hamm, who are all equally fantastic.
There isn’t a huge amount of substance in terms of the plotting and story of Richard Jewell, it is quite a simple premise and the events are laid out in a simple, watered-down way so the film doesn’t get too bogged down in the finer details. This film certainly won’t be for everyone and I wouldn’t argue with anyone who found it to be relatively dull and boring. But I don’t mind a slow burn and there was enough here to keep me engaged and the film’s overarching message about corruption and the power of the media is something that resonates strongly still in society today and will certainly make some audience members think about the deeper meaning behind this true story.
Clint Eastwood has once again proven himself to be a very capable, talented director. Although Richard Jewell won’t be remembered as one of his finest efforts, it’s still a solid entry into his filmography and well worth a watch if you ever get the chance.
I give Richard Jewell a 7/10.