My Review of "Richard Jewell"
A biopic about a man that was taken advantage by the system he loved.
Richard Jewell is a movie that doesn't look that interesting on paper. The thing is if you start watching it, you can't turn away. So many terrible unavoidable happen in this movie but you understand why they happen. In fact, the main character drove me nuts in this movie but I was still able to sympathize with him.
This movie starts out with the titular character working in an office delivering mail. He's taken a liking to one of the head lawyers there by the name of Watson. Watson isn't necessarily the nicest guy but he appreciates Richard because Richard is basically a really nice guy that's misunderstood.
In the next series of jobs that Richard gets he basically gets fired. He's devoted to his jobs and he really wants to help people out but his devotion isn't really recognized. Admittedly he's quite extreme when it comes to his ideas and the methods in which he accomplishes his tasks. He still has the best intentions when he's getting into these bad situations though.
So eventually we get to the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and Richard has lost all of his jobs and has settled as a security guard at the park. There's a few nights where they'll have singers perform at the park as a celebration of the Olympics in Atlanta.
Richard is still Richard and takes all precautions to prevent any disasters from happening at the park. He finds a suspicious package and calls it in. Everyone knows Richard's personality and think he's taking things too seriously and don't really think much of it until they realize it really is a bomb.
They were able to evacuate some of the patrons at the concert but not all of them were lucky enough to get out on time. Consequently, the bomb went off resulting in numerous injuries and a couple of deaths. It's soon discovered that Richard was the person that discovered the bomb and he was praised for his actions.
That praise quickly disappears when an inept FBI agent and opportunistic reporter get in on the case and flip everything around when one of Richard's former employers accuses Richard of the bombing. Instead of properly evaluating everything, they quickly accuse Richard of the crime. Things spiral downward quickly for Richard.
Things that make this story even scarier is that it's based off a true story. A lot of these things actually happened and I started wondering how many people in our past have we wrongfully accused because of this mob mentality we have. It sort of reflects on today's day in age where we want justice immediately when due justice should occur first.
Then again what is due justice? The FBI was surely not doing their job correctly as they were trying to self incriminate Richard. It was pretty disgusting what tactics they were using to imprison Richard. They didn't even do obvious investigative procedures before the accusation. A lot of things they did to Richard were definitely due to the ego of the FBI. They didn't want to be wrong so they were willing to plant evidence against Richard in order to incriminate him. So who is there to police the police? Again those are questions that we have today.
Richard is also a heck of a character. I got so aggravated by him. I'm sure loved ones around him were even more annoyed during the time of the accusation. He is so adamant to help out with the case that he was almost willing to incriminate himself. It's that sense of innocence that I kind of forgave but still you're a grown man you should know better. Maybe he had some sort of learning deficiency or something that they never talked about.
Regardless, this movie is a great examination of the criminal system we have today. We have to question the methods of the police and media. A lot of people today just take things for face value but don't really look a little deeper into the implications of things. The motto "innocent until proven guilty" is often forgotten and even the reason why we have such a motto. Innocent lives were destroyed because the public wanted a scapegoat.
Overall, I didn't think I would get into this movie as much as I did. I thought it brought up some gripping conversation and was intriguing from start to finish. The dissection of Richard's mind was a different perspective that I don't normally ever see. I have to give this movie an 8.5 out of 10. I really liked this movie and I think I would recommend it to others. I'm not sure if I'd re-watch this movie over and over again though.