Sneak Peek: The Whole Truth
From Lionsgate Premiere: Defense attorney Richard Ramsay (Keanu Reeves) takes on a personal case when he swears to his widowed friend, Loretta Lassiter (Renée Zellweger), that he will keep her son Mike (Gabriel Basso) out of prison. Charged with murdering his father, Mike initially confesses to the crime. But as the trial proceeds, chilling evidence about the kind of man that Boone Lassiter (Jim Belushi) really was comes to light. While Ramsay uses the evidence to get his client acquitted, his new colleague Janelle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) tries to dig deeper – and begins to realize that the whole truth is something she alone can uncover.
Starring Keanu Reeves, Renée Zellweger, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Gabriel Basso, and Jim Belushi
Directed by Courtney Hunt
Written by Rafael Jackson
Produced by Anthony Bregman, Kevin Frakes, Elon Dershowitz, and Raj Brinder Singh
Runtime: 94 minutes
This transcript has been lightly edited:
The Referee: Hey, listeners. Guess what? We have another Sneak Peek for you: “The Whole Truth” and nothing but the truth. “The Whole Truth” is coming out in theaters and On Demand October 21. Now, this is an interesting cast. But, first, Courtney Hunt directed it, as well as the writer — Rafael Jackson was the pen-man. It stars Keanu Reeves. Hello! He’s back. He’s here. Renée Zellweger, she’s back! Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Gabriel Basso, and Jim Belushi, among others: The cast looks star-studded, looks stacked. But, is “The Whole Truth” really the truth? We’re going to have to find out.
The Critic: Um. OK. Uh, so: Keanu Reeves plays a defense attorney.
Ref: Yes, he does.
Critic: He is called into a case that doesn’t look too pretty. It appears that a son has killed his father. The son is played by Gabriel Basso. The mother is played by Renée Zellweger. The father! is Jim Belushi. Now, Jim Belushi — the father — was an attorney, an attorney who had a relationship with Keanu Reeves. Renée Zellweger, of course, had a relationship with Keanu Reeves, as a result, as well. So, we have this whole setup. Now, the problem is: The son is not talking; he’s refusing to speak to his attorney, Keanu Reeves. Problem! How can he defend him if he’s not talkin’? So, they’re in the courtroom, and Keanu Reeves is lookin’ at him, like: “Are you gonna talk to me or not? Because, if you aren’t going to talk, I can’t defend you! Uh!” Now, for some help, Keanu has Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s character come in, another attorney. Her father is a famed attorney in Louisiana — that’s where we are — famed! But, he wasn’t available; he suggested her. And, she has a BS detector, OK?
Ref: Uh-oh, uh-oh, uh-oh.
Critic: She can smell it coming a mile away. Oh, yes, she can. So, the question is, everybody: The son — what’s going on with him? Why won’t he talk? Why did he kill his father? Or, did he? So, you’ll have to watch “The Whole Truth” to know what’s going on with all of these people, because they’re hiding all kinds of skeletons in them closets! that need to be aired out.
Ref: Skeletons, among other things.
Ref: Now … (laughter) All happening at the same time, Keanu Reeves is doing this voiceover. So, you’re really getting the behind-the-scenes play-by-play: his thoughts of what’s happening as each incident happens. So, it’s almost like this: It smells like, feels like, looks like an edgy “Perry Mason” episode. (laughter) So, if you like the whole explanation, the experience of the courtroom drama, and what it takes to defend your client who’s on [trial for] murder — I mean, he’s teaching Gugu as he goes, probably as he was taught —
Ref: So, you kinda get the behind-the-scenes with that. Now, onto why we’re reviewing this: Renée Zellweger is back. She’s been out of commission for about six years. And, even though “Bridget Jones’s Baby” came out before this, she shot this ahead of time. So, she is back doing Renée. You just, sort of, look at her, and she is truly a damsel in distress —
Critic: (in imitation) “Yes.”
Ref: — literally, the definition of it.
Critic: (in imitation) “Oh. Oh.”
Ref: Yeah. She’s abused. She’s beaten down physically, mentally, (lowers voice) sexually. And, what would a son do?
Ref: That’s the question. And, the gentleman who plays the son, Gabriel Basso — now, you’ve seen him; I’ve never seen him act before — and he did a wonderful job of just remaining cool. Every time they tried to pin something on him that wasn’t true, he perked up, and he looked around. And you could tell, as an audience member, that the skeletons are starting to spill out of the closet.
Critic: That’s right.
Ref: Jim Belushi (laughter), where have you been?! What are you doing?! I thoroughly enjoyed his performance only because you really don’t see Jim Belushi play the bad guy — in quotes, we’ll put it in quotes. You don’t really see him play the bad guy too often. And, to me, he did a wonderful job of that. Is this man an unfit father? Is he an unfit husband? — and how far he goes along with that. But, I tell you what: There’s a surprise cameo, we’ll say.
Ref: Sean Bridgers (laughs) —
Critic: See, I knew you were going here.
Ref: From “Rectify” —
Critic: Yes, you can’t resist.
Ref: He plays every sleazy role that you ever could think of (laughter). And, here, you know, there’s some more sleaze being flung at him. But, the real duo goes to Keanu Reeves, obviously, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw.
Ref: Gugu plays the great, bright-eyed girl. I mean, she really does a good job of, sort of, watching and looking. But, quite frankly, she doesn’t have enough to do.
Ref: There’s not enough going on for her. So, she’s milking every opportunity that she can in order to make sense of why she has this BS meter. And, she has a very illicit past.
Ref: We’ll say that much — that they really don’t get to explore as much.
Ref: Keanu Reeves — guess what? He’s Keanu Reeves. I did enjoy his, sort of, poker face when it comes to certain things that happen throughout the movie. But, at the end of the day, it’s Keanu Reeves as a lawyer.
Critic: I will say: That Keanu Reeves’ voiceover, for me, kept me going. I thought it was, like, straight out of a pulp movie: (with lowered voice) “You know, I thought, with her Ivy League past, that maybe she wouldn’t show up tomorrow.” (laughter) And, I did like the opening shots, especially, Ref, of Louisiana: the bridge that we waited for. It really primed you for all of that. So … for me, I’m sorry: I was bored. I just have to be honest, here. I was bored; I thought the writing was chal-leng-ing. Challenging! I really, just, was not hooked by the case; and that’s the thing here. Now, if you are somebody who likes “Law & Order” reruns — you just watch those marathons on TNT all the time; you can’t get enough: This will work for you. Or, if you’re interested in what this cast is going to do — it is an interesting collection of actors — fine. Otherwise, mm.
Ref: I have to echo the fact that I said this is an edgy “Perry Mason” episode. (laughter) So, for me, I don’t necessarily completely agree with the Critic. I think this is entertaining. This is a great Friday night. It’s fall; it is cold; you’re not going to want to go outside: Grab that blanket; grab a bucket of popcorn. And, here’s my tip to you, listeners: Don’t expect anything.
Ref: Don’t expect much. This is not “Primal Fear”; it’s not “[The] Lincoln Lawyer.” This is Keanu Reeves as the lead lawyer. So, you have to go with that. It’s Renée Zellweger as the damsel in distress. Just go with it. I love the prosecutor: He’s just this normal guy, trying to get past the day and put this kid behind bars. Just go with it.
Critic: And the judge, I liked the judge, too.
Ref: And the judge — lean back, relax, don’t think, go for the ride; there are twists; there are turns. So, just lean in, lean the other way, (laughter) and watch the credits roll. And, you won’t be disappointed if you go in with that mindset: just to be entertained. Now, again, “The Whole Truth” comes out October 21. It’s On Demand, so you don’t even have to leave the house.
Critic: There you go.
Ref: And, if you want to leave the house, I’ll say this: If you have those expectations, you won’t be disappointed if you do pay that $15. But, be warned.