The Movie “Erin Brockovich” was reviewed by several professional critics on their thoughts about the film. Even though this movie was very good, it still received some negative comments and reviews by some critics. The three professional critics I chose to critique the film are Christopher Null, MaryAnn Johanson, and Amy Taubin. By reviewing the comments by these critics, we will learn more about the film as well as my input as to how in my opinion the movie was.
As you may know, the movie begins with a lady named Erin Brockovich who is struggling with money, when she one day gets a job that turns her life totally around for good. Unfortunately, not all critics are very nice, giving at times, a negative-type of review. Christopher Null writes “As a primer on the U.S. legal system, BROCKOVICH is not terribly compelling. The legal mumbo-jumbo is all there and feels accurate enough, but the heart of the movie simply doesn’t rest with the details of the case, which features Pacific Gas & Electric poisoning 600 people in a small California town with chromium (and then telling them it’s good for them).” Christopher doesn’t feel there is any real “heart” to the film, rather just a bunch of historical stuff in one movie. This makes Erin Brokovich seem like any other court-case movie. Christopher continues by saying “ While it’s not a class-action lawsuit, the case has essentially the same details as A
CIVIL ACTION and any number of other verdict clones, with nearly-bankrupt attorneys who risk it all on One Big Case.” “ERIN BROCKOVICH is her movie. And while Albert Finney steals a bit of thunder as her grumpy boss, it’s Erin’s brassy, white trash, amateur investigator that makes you want to watch this movie, all 2 ½ hours of it.” Once again, This critic highlights the fact that this movie can only be like any other “clone” to lawsuit films. From his view, he makes it seem almost as if you are wasting 2 ½ hours of your life unless you look at Erin the whole time. I know that I did not “waste” my 2 ½ hours with that movie. Even though the movie does not completely revolve around Erin, she does help to make the movie more interesting.
Another critic with her own views is MaryAnn Johanson, quite blunt, to the point at times about this movie. MaryAnn writes “Okay, I could complain about the fact that Erin, who can’t pay her phone bill at one point, barely seems to wear the same outfit twice… indeed, barely seems to wear her outfits at all. (Poor thing: she doesn’t seem to be able to afford a single blouse that actually covers her bra.) I could complain about the fact that Erin gets the information she needs, is able to dig up incriminating evidence against a $30 billion corporation due not to her not inconsiderable smarts but because, well, she behaves seductively and drops ridiculous compliments to moronic men who gape at her with their jaws on the floor. I could complain that the unfortunately depressing reality that women are still judged more by their sex appeal than by their brains and abilities…” She feels the way Erin dresses in the movie changes the situations in the movie for the better, making her get things she wants with her body. Even though the real Erin Brockovich dressed kind of provocative, the movie made it seem as if she looked like “seductive”, according to MaryAnn. I agree with her, but I wouldn’t say that she seemed like promiscuous Erin had brains, she was smart enough to use her body for good, to get what she needed. In the movie, Erin is real, she isn’t some fake girly-girl in the attorney meetings, she knew what she was doing, and she was determined to win the lawsuit, even if it took doing everything by herself. MaryAnn continues by saying “The thing that I hate about Erin Brockovich (you knew I’d find something to hate, didn’t you?) is its unironic attitude that all lawyers are cold-hearted, uncaring sharks. “Do you know why people think all lawyers are back-stabbing bloodsuckers?” Erin asks a lawyer at a big firm that Ed partners with when their PG&E case gets too overwhelming. The rhetorical question never gets answered, but I think I know why: because that’s how movies like Erin Brockovich portray them.” The stereotypes that make it seem that all lawyers are indeed “back-stabbing bloodsuckers” can come from media like that, and perhaps even through personal experiences. I definitely agree with her that the movie does answer the rhetorical question, being that media can alter, or twist things.
On the lighter note, professional critic Amy Taubin adds to criticism by leaving her two cents on the movie. According to Amy, “What’s pretty original about the picture is that it focuses an investigative drama based on a true story around a comic performance. Without Roberts’s combination of exuberance and irony, Erin Brockovich would have been a replay of the earnest A Civil Action, in which John Travolta brings suit against a big corporation that’s been dumping toxic waste in a town’s water supply. Erin Brockovich has an almost identical plot, but it’s closer in tone, and even politics, to Thelma and Louise. Outlaw humor is its survival tool. The originality too is what attracted me to the movie, it was very interesting because since we were recently learning about the subject about the chromium in the waters at Hinkley, it kept me focused into the movie. Even though she does say that it has a similarity to the film A Civil Action, it does indeed pack a bigger punch than that movie.
Who would have thought that a woman like Erin would be a mulit-millionaire despite all her problems? In the beginning of the movie, you wouldn’t even have thought that Erin was going to be rescued from all the disaster in her life, losing her job, being behind in bills, and getting into a car accident, she wasn’t even a professional attorney, but her determination is what helped her through all the problems.