Thursday, April 23, 2020

Review: Defending Jacob

Release date: April 24, 2020 (First 3 episodes)
Running time: 45 minutes each
Starring:  Chris Evans, Michelle Dockery, Jaeden Martell

Defending Jacob is a character-driven thriller based on a 2012 New York Times best-seller.  The eight episode limited series starts with a shocking crime that rocks a small Massachusetts town.  Andy Barber (Evans), the assistant district attorney who begins investigating this crime, soon finds out that it involves a student at his son's school.  As the case unfolds, Andy is forced to choose between his sworn duty to uphold justice and his unconditional love for his son.

Defending Jacob's main draw is the characters portrayed by some top notch actors.  All of the cast are fantastic, but the three headliners in particular do an amazing job.  Evans is a cocky, driven attorney who also gets to display a wide emotional range in this drama.  It's really wonderful to see him in this role as you notice pieces of Captain America and Ransom from Knives Out in this character.  But it also lets him play a much more vulnerable, emotional character, which was a treat to see.  Dockery, who plays Andy's wife Laurie, likewise shows a lot of emotion as she grapples with her love for her son, mother's instincts, and what is unfolding in the case.  And Martell, who plays Jacob, is stellar.  We've known that he can act and he has showcased his talent in his many roles, but this one lets him show a lot of vulnerability and conflicting emotions.  Really, the acting is simply fantastic and it will hook you from the very first scene.

The story itself starts off at a grand jury investigation and then backtracks to earlier times.  It lets you know that something bad will eventually happen, but doesn't hint at how it gets there.  As the episodes reveal more information, more of the present day scene plays out as well.  It is a good vehicle and one that will hook you from the start.  And on top of the good acting and story, the production values are top notch.  The sets are well designed, the shots are intelligently taken, and everything has a high level of polish that will really let you get enveloped in this story.  And on a related note, the atmosphere is perfect.  The sleepy Masschusetts setting is perfect for this story.  This atmosphere is also helped by some perfectly appropriate music that comes in occasionally to really help set the scene.  Defending Jacob just does a lot right; the pieces come together to tell a compelling story.  This is definitely a series you should check out and will likely binge all three episodes when they are released.

Defending Jacob is a powerful character drama with an all star cast, great production values, and a compelling story that will hook you from the start.

Watch it.

No comments:

Post a Comment