*/**** Image A Sound B Extras D
starring Susan Sarandon, Tommy Lee Jones, Mary-Louise Parker, Brad Renfro
screenplay by Akiva Goldsman, based on the novel by John Grisham
directed by Joel Schumacher
by Walter Chaw Joel Schumacher's The Client starts out like a sequel to Schumacher's own The Lost Boys, as two little boys (one of them Brad Renfro) try out cigarettes and John Grisham's awful dialogue (augmented by awful screenwriter Akiva Goldsman) in a verdant backwoods Eden before witnessing the suicide of mob lawyer Jerome Clifford (Walter Olkewicz). "Romey" is despondent, see, because he knows where mobster Muldano (Anthony LaPaglia) has buried a body. Because little Mark (Renfro) spent quality time with the goombah before his voyage to the great Italian restaurant in the sky, Mark is now Little Italy's most-wanted. Cut to Muldano polishing off a Shirley Temple--judging by the way Schumacher makes love to the maraschino cherry between LaPaglia's teeth--at a sleazy New Orleans nightclub to complete the impression that all schlockmeister Schumacher ever wanted to make was variations on arrested-vampire movies. At least it sports Will Patton in a supporting role back when he was a well-kept secret. And JT Walsh, and William H. Macy, and Mary-Louise Parker. Plus, Anthony Edwards, Bradley Whitford, Ossie Davis, Dan Castellaneta, William Sanderson...