REVIEW: LAW ABIDING CITIZEN
SYNOPSIS: Clyde Shelton (Gerard Butler) is an upstanding family man whose wife and daughter are brutally murdered during a home invasion. When the killers are caught, Nick Rice (Jamie Foxx), a hotshot young Philadelphia prosecutor, is assigned to the case. Over his objections, Nick is forced by his boss to offer one of the suspects a light sentence in exchange for testifying against his accomplice.
Fast forward ten years. The man who got away with murder is found dead and Clyde Shelton coolly admits his guilt. Then he issues a warning to Nick: Either fix the flawed justice system that failed his family, or key players in the trial will die.
Soon Shelton follows through on his threats, orchestrating from his jail cell a string of spectacularly diabolical assassinations that can be neither predicted nor prevented. Philadelphia is gripped with fear as Shelton ’s high-profile targets are slain one after another and the authorities are powerless to halt his reign of terror. Only Nick can stop the killing, and to do so he must outwit this brilliant sociopath in a harrowing contest of wills in which even the smallest misstep means death. With his own family now in Shelton ’s crosshairs, Nick finds himself in a desperate race against time facing a deadly adversary who seems always to be one step ahead.
REVIEW: Nick Rice: You end this!
Clyde Shelton: [smiles] I'm just gettin' warmed up.
Clyde Shelton: It's gonna be biblical.
Clyde, you’re not kidding. Seriously, Clyde is deadly serious about the mission he is on. Ever hear the expression: “revenge is a dish best served cold”? Well for Clyde Shelton (Gerard Butler) revenge is taken to a whole new level. There are plenty of “revenge” action movies and one of the first that comes to mind when I think of that genre is the Kill Bill series. This movie makes Kill Bill look like child’s play. Well, okay, not that much, after all I am a fan of Kill Bill and I don’t want to diminish it. Let’s say Kill Bill is high school level where this is college level stuff. It is probably more comparable to and just as good as Taken or Brave One for example. It’s not all about the action either which is pretty good (both the action and the fact that it’s not all about it). This movie is quite dramatic and intense as well. So what starts this rampage you ask? An unspeakable crime committed on himself and his family. Obviously he survived but his wife and little girl were raped and murdered over a simple home robbery. The problem is that our flawed justice system is played by one of the criminals and backed up by the prosecutors. It was a very bad idea to be cutting deals with this criminal because they were picking on the wrong victim, especially considering the crime. In Clyde’s eyes, this was unjust justice and he was going to correct this wrong at any cost.
As mentioned, there was lots of drama in this film that helped balance out the action. Of course the main contributors to the drama were the performances by the two key players and they were as good as expected. Gerard Butler is quietly becoming a major box office ticket seller and he has been busy lately. Most might attribute his major breakout performance to be his role in 300 but did you remember that he played the Phantom in Phantom of the Opera? I know it still baffles me. How about his role in Reign of Fire? (There’s an almost unrecognizable Christian Bale in that one too). Gerard has been around so his success shouldn’t be much of a surprise. With this role he really becomes a nightmare. You might ask yourself is he mad (crazy) or is it all done with a level-headed purpose? What can you say about Jamie Foxx? Does he ever do anything bad? Maybe every now and then he’ll not be so great, but never bad. This performance is your standard Jamie Foxx quality. There were two other performances that really caught my attention. Annie Corley plays Judge Laura Burch and Viola Davis who plays the Mayor of Philadelphia. They were small roles but powerful.
Even though this film falls under a typical storyline category, the details of the story and the twists make it very interesting and different. Be cautious with your little ones because this movie is violent with some moments of blood and gore. It also has one of the most startling, “jump-in-your-seat” moments I have ever seen. You’ll know what I’m talking about when you see it. Whew! That was intense. Director F. Gary Gray has done some pretty good work in his directing career: Friday, Set It Off, The Negotiator, A Man Apart, Italian Job to name a few. This could be his best work yet or maybe tied with Italian Job. Probably the most interesting part of this movie is that it will leave you unsettled. Did Clyde go too far? Who really is the good guy if there is one?
By Cine Marcos
MOVIE REVIEWS >>>
People Movie Review
Law Abiding Citizen
This movie was pretty good...I really
wanted to see Saw 6 but my wife
refused.....I was fairly happy with my
decision in the end...sort of like
"Saw" with a conscience
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