BMTsolution right off the bat, guys. That’s because The Chamber was actually based on a book and not just on one that exists in my head. It’s a John Grisham book that it quite the slow burn (emphasis on slow), but which grew on me as I understood that it wasn’t a legal thriller at all, but rather a family drama centered around the possible moral issues associated with the death penalty. The main character wasn’t really defending his grandfather to save him (he never had much of a shot) but rather trying to discover his family before his grandfather’s bomb does its final damage. It already destroyed his personal history, it may destroy him, and it may destroy the state that compromises its morals for a notion of justice. It’s a story of how the death penalty is an extension of the crime (or so the main character believes). I liked it quite a bit… which made me nervous for what must have gone wrong for the film to get such bad reviews. The answer? Everything… every… single… thing.
This was the worst. Just the worst. If I had seen this in theaters I would have walked out. I nearly threw my TV out the window for having the gall (the AUDACITY) to dare bring such a thing into my home (my HOME!). It’s like the screenwriters looked at the book and said, “I liked the moral quandary this posed, but what if… it didn’t?” And it’s biggest crime? It wasn’t just a bad adaptation of a book I liked that personally offended me. It was a BORING bad adaptation of a book I liked that personally offended me. So bad that I have to TYPE IN ALL CAPITALS. That being said I thought Hackman was great and the directing good. I also understand that most people who haven’t read the book recently would probably watch the film and be like “Whatever.” Unfortunately I read the book.
A lesser known fact about The Chamber: it’s original working title was MonoSklog Central* and boy did it live up to its name. There were at least five separate MonoSklogs in the film. Some of Hackman’s were quite good. The others, not so much. In the end the best (i.e. worst) is probably Chris O’Donnell’s impassioned speech defending his racist grandfather (which we called Mi Abuelo). Unfortunately there is no available YouTube clip for this monologue. You’ll just have to watch the movie yourself.
*Not all facts presented on badmovietwins.com are true
‘Ello everyone. You know what? I’m going to let Jamie’s part stand for The Chamber. He is passionate about it (as disgusting as that it). So just one quick point:
From the perspective of a person who did not read the book the movie was merely boring. You could kind of tell they tried to thrillerize something, but missed on the thrilling part. And O’Donnell was terrible while Hackman was amazing. I think that was sufficiently positive for my BMTsolution.