Just Mercy (AU - M/UK - 12A/US - PG-13)

In a Word: Heavy

Just Mercy

 Michael B Jordan stars as lawyer Bryan Stevenson in based-on-truth courtroom drama 'Just Mercy'.

Michael B Jordan (Black Panther), Jamie Foxx (The Amazing Spider-Man 2) and Brie Larsen (Captain Marvel) have all played leads in some of the biggest super hero films. In Just Mercy, these stars play a different kind of hero, this time fighting for justice in the battleground of a courtroom.

Bryan Stevenson (Jordan) is a bright young Harvard law graduate who forgoes a more lucrative career in order to provide legal aid for the poor and desperate. Together with the similarly idealistic Eva Ansley (Larsen), they found the Equal Justice Initiative in Alabama, where they face no small amount of prejudice, suspicion and opposition from those in power.

 

"Just Mercy is based on the real life memoirs of Bryan Stevenson and makes a deliberate attempt to show that God and faith are deeply involved in the struggle for justice."

Among the dozens of clients, the case of Johnny D (Foxx) stands out. Convicted of a brutal murder and now on death row awaiting execution, he exists in a state of cynical despair. In order for justice to be won, Bryan must not only uncover the truth behind the conviction, but also overcome the hopelessness that both he and his client will face.

The themes of racial prejudice, corruption and the abuse of power are all weighty subjects and the film lingers in this heavy tone for much of the film. By dwelling in the mire of condemnation for so long, it produces a yearning for truth and justice to be shown. However, that journey to freedom will require, perseverance, courage and sacrifice.


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Just Mercy is based on the real life memoirs of Bryan Stevenson and makes a deliberate attempt to show that God and faith are deeply involved in the struggle for justice. There are references to church, prayer and a particularly powerful rendition of the classic hymn, The Old Rugged Cross.

Ultimately, the story draws a parallel to the Gospel message, as Johnny D’s situation mirrors our greatest need. Testifying to a senate committee in the final scene, Stevenson declares, “that we all need mercy, we all need justice, and perhaps - we all need some measure of unmerited grace.”