Sometimes, it's exciting to watch a movie formula jell on screen-and that's what you can see happening in The Client, the latest, and best, of three successive films adapted from legal thrillers by John Grisham.
For a little while The Client seems as though it's going to be a battle of wits between the two lawyers played by Sarandon and Jones. The interplay between the two is the best thing about the movie. [20 July 1994, p.E1]
Not particularly nuanced or fine-tuned, The Client, like its source material, is both gimmicky and involving, a fast-moving comic-book version of a comic-book novel. And while Schumacher has not been known as an actor's director, The Client is beefed up by a pair of satisfying star performances.
With danger in every woods, elevator and hospital corridor, Joel Schumacher's by-rote direction will likely give audiences what they want: slick, superficial escapism with casting punch - ironically, virtues associated with the current flop I Love Trouble. To its credit, The Client moves faster and adds suspense, but ultimately seems as negligible. [20 July 1994, p.1D]
Unfortunately, the film rarely slows long enough for the actors to do anything more than sketch in their characters. On the other hand, the showdowns between Sarandon and Jones are choice; it's a meeting of charismatic equals.
This movie is much like its brethren: pretty, with strong leads -- the most fun is watching Sarandon match her heavy-lidded orbs against Jones' demon stare -- great supporting work (especially from the sorrowful Parker and the regal Davis), and a tense chase or two from director Schumacher.