Final Verdict (2009)

Erica Durance in Final Verdict (2009)

Guilty of Being Ordinary

Eight years ago, state attorney Megan Washington (Erica Durance) successfully prosecuted William Mccauley (Bruce Dinsmore) on a charge of murder in the 2nd degree as a hitman testifies to being paid by William to kill his wife and dispose of the body which he claims he did by throwing it in the river. But when the wife's body shows up it brings into question William's guilt and also puts pressure on Megan and her boyfriend D.A. Ray Voss (Sebastien Roberts). As Megan starts to investigate she discovers that William may have been innocent after all and that facts about the case were kept from her eight years earlier, the question is why?

When you've seen one, you've seen them all. That is how I often feel after watching yet another TV movie within the crime-drama genre because frankly the majority of them end up merging into one with little to make one stand out from another. "Final verdict" is one of these movies which not so much suffers but because of thin characters, obvious plot twists and unimaginative direction is just another TV movie which never once becomes anything more than average at best. And to be honest unless you want to watch a movie which sort of plays out in front of your eyes, failing to fully engage your mind you are probably going to end up walking away from "Final verdict" and going off to do other things.

Steve Byers in Final Verdict (2009)

So as already suggested "Final verdict" is nothing more than a typical TV movie as we have a female attorney investigating a case, it doesn't matter that it's an old case, and uncovering a tangled web of lies and shady characters. As such we have moments of expected danger where Megan uncharacteristically puts herself at risk by doing something illegal such as breaking in to a building. And just for good measure we also have a bit of romance as whilst her affair with Ray ends she meets nice guy reporter Casey Gordon. Things play out in a less than surprising manner as Megan discovers that not all the facts were presented to her eight years earlier, missing witnesses show up, other witnesses die and before you know it we have the dramatic ending where not only does Megan discover the whole truth but of course ends up in danger. It is all completely typical and whilst you might not guess immediately who the bad guys really are you will have sussed it long before the final reveal.

The strange thing is that "Final Verdict" could have been so much better with just a little more effort. The various characters are all TV movie cliches in dire need of fleshing out and as such the acting itself from Erica Durance, Sebastien Roberts and Steve Byers is in itself okay just their characters are bad. And the various scene set ups all lack imagination and sometimes felt like they had reused a location from another movie which made me comically imagine a queue of TV crews and actors waiting to film their scenes at a disused building before the next crew shuffle in.

What this all boils down to is that "Final Verdict" is really little more than just another TV movie which delivers a crime storyline with a central female character investigating a crime. It's not so much terrible but just ordinary and to be honest at times struggles to keep hold of your attention.