Most popular for his role as the Marvel superhero, Robert Downey Jr. has now been molded into our brains as the one and only Iron Man. This sarcastic yet heart-warming superhero will forever be etched into the minds of his audience and fans. But this time, instead of wearing his red Iron Man gear, Downey goes for the look of a rich, white-collar prosecutor. With the release of “The Judge” in Korea on, Downey returns to theaters with a more realistic and relatable movie that makes his viewers laugh, smile and even cry.
Downey, playing the role of Hank Palmer, a cocky and successful prosecutor in Chicago with a grand house and family is only well packaged. Inside, Palmer’s marriage is on the rocks as he withdraws himself from his family and friends. Palmer is forced to confront his childhood home in Indiana after hearing about the death of his mother, only to face his father not as “dad,” but as “Judge.” A cold wind steps in as the father and son meet. Even though both attempt to ignore each other, viewers know that both were scarred but are willing to mend the relationship.
The movie progresses as Palmer’s father, Joseph (Robert Duvall), is accused of intentionally killing a man.
From here, Duvall’s acting skills begin to shine. The 83-year old actor proves to the audience that age does not matter in Hollywood as he delivers a stellar performance that clearly illustrates Judge Palmer’s stoic yet caring soul. He does an excellent job in portraying the emotionless yet warm and patient father who has trouble expressing his love toward his children. The rocky father-son relationship is one that most viewers can relate to and the progression of this relationship is what teaches the audience about family.
Furthermore, Downey proved to his young teen fans that he was capable of more than his Marvel superhero persona. He was confident in speech and certain that the jury would come to favor his side of the story. But a sense of depression and deprivation is always evident in Downey’s straight facial expressions. Basically, the way Downey and Duvall interact with one another in front of the camera is unforgettable and touching moments in the movie.
According to Downey, he needs movies that invite him to laugh at the fragility of the human condition and push the emotional buttons that he needs to protect and control. With his role in “the Judge,” he surely satisfied those requirements – not only was it funny, but it was also moving. There was no dull part to the movie – it flowed nicely and there was an appropriate balance of humor and emotion. It was a movie that people need once in a while to have a little laugh or cry.