"Pouring Out Predictability"
What You Need To Know:
In THE RAINMAKER, based on the novel by John Grisham, Rudy (Matt Damon) is fresh out of law school and ready to practice. He becomes an ambulance chaser, representing hurt clients and dealing with insurance companies. He starts a love interest with a battered wife. Rudy and Deck Shiffler (Danny DeVito) open their own law firm. Their first case is overwhelming for the inexperienced Rudy. A client has been denied a potentially life-saving bone marrow transplant. Rudy runs up against several obstacles, including a claims handler resignation and a mysterious executive memorandum. The odds begin to turn in Rudy’s favor when a former civil rights judge is assigned to the case.
The movie has some positive moral portrayals, including the fight for justice against seemingly insurmountable odds, the emphasis on choosing to do what is right over corrupt pursuits of wealth, positive portrayals of family, love and courage facing death. Also, the characters are stereotyped, and the plot is predictable. Rudy and Deck are portrayed as heroes who fight for the truth, but, ironically, they resort to dishonesty at times to achieve their goal. Despite this behavior, the movie manipulates the audience into cheering for the underdogs. This idealistic movie has some violence and sexual situations
(Ro, LL, VVV, SS, A, D, MM) Romantic worldview where underdog lawyers take on corrupt insurance firm; 2 profanities, 15 vulgarities, 6 obscenities, burping, name calling, & references to getting drunk, rape & child molesters; excessive violence including violent fight with aluminum baseball bat, choking results in death, fist fighting, wife beating discussed, wife’s bruises shown, bloody nose shown, & physically & verbally abusive behavior; adulterous kissing & touching, body groping, crude sexual joke, references to fornication, reference to pregnancy outside of marriage, & obsession with sex; alcohol use; smoking; and, miscellaneous immorality including lying, stealing, divorce, Jehovah’s Witnesses mentioned, reference to war injury leaving character mentally impaired, reference to cutting children out of will, & deception.
In THE RAINMAKER, based on the novel by John Grisham, Southern upstart Rudy Baylor (Matt Damon), fresh out of law school, is polite, vulnerable and tender-hearted. He goes to work for a sleazy bar owner being investigated by the FBI for racketeering. Soon, Rudy becomes an ambulance chaser, representing hurt clients and dealing with insurance companies and forcing them to pay for claims. He gets personally involved with his clients and becomes romantically entangled with Kelly Riker (Claire Danes), who ends up in the hospital after being severely beaten by her husband.
Rudy and a business associate, Deck Shiffler (Danny DeVito), open their own law firm. Their first case together is almost overwhelming for the inexperienced Rudy. Donny Ray Black (Johnny Whitworth), a poor client with leukemia, has been denied a potentially life-saving bone marrow transplant. Rudy takes on the large corrupt insurance company that denied the claim. He runs up against several obstacles, including the fact that the claims handler resigned (according to the company) two days before her deposition. The claims handler can’t be found and neither can a mysterious executive memorandum from the company’s policy and procedures manual on how to handle claims.
Rudy’s inexperience shows when contrasted against the highly paid and polished lawyers from the insurance company. Leo F. Drummond (Jon Voight) and the other lawyers have pushed aside their principles for the biggest paycheck. They are ruthless and aggressive. The odds begin to turn in Rudy’s favor, however, when a former civil rights judge (Danny Glover), who understands the rights of victims, is assigned to the case.
The movie has some positive moral portrayals, including the fight for justice against seemingly insurmountable odds, the emphasis on choosing to do what is right over corrupt pursuits of wealth, positive portrayals of family, love and courage facing death. It has no references to the afterlife, however.
Humor is effectively injected throughout the story to lighten the serious topics. DeVito’s comedic touches are particularly effective. The characters are stereotyped, however, and the plot is predictable, despite a slight story twist.
Director Francis Ford Coppola portrays Rudy and Deck as heroes who fight for the truth, but ironically they resort to dishonesty by tampering with the jury to achieve their goal. Rudy refers to lawyers crossing the moral line many times, but the line disappears when his character does the very same thing. Despite this behavior, the audience is manipulated into cheering for the underdogs. Other immoral activities include depicted violence and sexual situations.
The title refers to a rainmaker, who instead of earning money, causes it to fall out of the sky. Regrettably, as money falls in THE RAINMAKER, so too does its morals.