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A Civil Action VHS DVD

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This review contains spoilers.  If you don't want the movie ruined, don't read any further.

Not as good as I had hoped.

The movie is about a small law office that takes on two small subsidiaries of two large corporations.  They try to prove that the two local companies had dumped toxic chemicals that had made it to the water supply of a small town.

After the setup, the director uses a technique where Robert Duvall's character teaches a Harvard law class as a way to describe what we're supposed to look for in the court scenes.   That works okay, I suppose.  You get the impression that while Duvall doesn't really control the proceedings, he recognizes the motivations of the other characters much more clearly than anyone else.

Travolta's character apparently succumbs to pride.  He has an opportunity to settle the cases and instead purposely blows it.  Eventually, the large corporations simply wear the small office down.  They settle for much lower than the original offer.  About what you would expect.

In the end, Travolta finds a way to stick it to the companies.  I think most people experience a sense of vindication when they see the package from the EPA.  Me, I feel the EPA has gone so overboard with the Super Fund that I have a knee-jerk dislike for them.  They're a case of a government agency that has grown far beyond its charter.

On my brother's Total Movie Value Scale, Pay-per-view with Popcorn and Drinks.  It seemed watered-down somehow.

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Last modified: June 14, 2004
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