Michael Clayton is the fast paced legal, corporate greed and assassination thriller that starts and ends with a bang. Michael Clayton sizzles with skin crawling gluttony, blood moving action and overflows with tragic characters.
Michael Clayton (George Clooney) is an ethically questionable problem fixer for a high priced corporate law firm whose largest client is an agricultural products company. The ingenious lawyer assigned to the case, Arthur Edens (Tom Wilkinson) begins to slip down the mental health mountain and eventually succumbs to a near mental collapse. Clayton is assigned to containing Arthur, his mentor and good friend. Not everything a crazy person says is crazy, no matter how crazy it sounds, and Clayton has to decipher what is corporate insanity and what is personal insanity!
Michael Clayton doesn't rely exclusively on the thrill of the law to raise the blood pressure and to titillate the senses. They use the explosions, fighting, break-ins and mental breakdowns to get the audience utterly wrapped up in the rise and fall of the tumult raging on screen. The characters aren't spared any fear; mental, emotional or physical.
Clooney and writer/director Tony Gilroy, formed Michael Clayton as morally derelict as Arthur Edens is mentally depreciated. Clooney's portrayal is as insanely smarmy as the lawyer whose morals have been sold to his law firm for the cost of his gambling debts. Clooney masterfully spirals Clayton down an emotional whirlpool without drowning him in melodrama or trite clichés.
Playing someone headed for Looneytown is hard to do without driving the audience bananas. Tom Wilkinson made me furrow my eyebrows and sit on the edge of my seat. Arthur is over the edge but hanging onto the edge by his fingernails. Wilkinson gives Arthur one of the strongest set of fingernails I have ever seen in a movie. His cranial dilapidation is one of the most captivating elements of the movie.
The last fifteen or thirty minutes of Michael Clayton left me shaking. My muscles were tense, my heart was pounding. I could barely stay in my seat I was so worked up. I didn't realize it until I finally let go but my hand were so tense around the cup holder, it was painful to take them off and my arms were sore from the exertion. My jaw hurt from grinding my teeth. I haven't had as much fun or thrilled while sitting upright in a very long time.
See Michael Clayton because it is one of the scariest and most exciting corporate greed stories because of its great acting and fantastic action sequences.