Legal Eagles follows dueling attorneys Tom Logan (Robert Redford) and Laura Kelly (Debra Winger) as they team up to defend a beautiful heiress (Daryl Hannah’s Chelsea Deardon), with the film detailing the pair’s ongoing efforts at solving the crime that their client has been accused of committing. Filmmaker Ivan Reitman has infused Legal Eagles with a pervasively lighthearted feel that does, for the most part, prevent the viewer from connecting with the material, which is a shame, certainly, since Redford delivers as engaging and charismatic a performance as one might’ve expected. The movie’s pervasive lack of substance – ie there’s just no hook here – grows increasingly problematic as the thinly-plotted narrative unfolds, with the plodding atmosphere compounded by a central case that is, after everything is said and done, simply not that interesting. (It doesn’t help, either, that scripters Jim Cash and Jack Epps Jr attempt to compensate for the lackluster mystery by flooding the proceedings with increasingly convoluted elements.) And although the film has been sprinkled with a handful of standout sequences – eg Tom’s opening remarks at Chelsea’s trial – Legal Eagles primarily comes off as a lazy and fairly pointless vanity project that squanders the talents of everyone involved.
** out of ****