Law Abiding Citizen Movie Review

Super-slick filmmaking masks this thriller's reprehensible message that violence can solve any problem. It's so beautifully shot and nicely underplayed by the cast that viewers could be fooled into believing that it's coherent or acceptable. But it's neither.

Clyde (Butler) has his happy life destroyed when a psycho (Stolte) kills his wife and daughter, but his lawyer Nick (Foxx) accepts a plea bargain that lets the killer out of jail in three years. A decade later, Clyde starts his revenge. A spot of brutal torture and murder lands him in prison, but he continues from behind bars with his violent mission to take down the legal system. It's up to Nick and a cop (Meaney) to figure out how he's doing this before he kills them too.

Gaping plot-holes and thinly drawn characters are a problem in any script, although director Gray is adept at keeping us distracted, simply because he doesn't pause to let us examine the plot's enormous improbabilities (much of this hinges on a revelation that throws logic out the window). Meanwhile, each person in the story is defined by filmmaking shorthand, such as a warmly inviting home, a cute child or a reference to some sort of lovelife.

The actors play these elements perfectly, making us believe the non-existent back-stories so that we accept them as rounded characters, even though they have no shadings at all. Foxx is magnetic as usual, and his interaction with colleagues (McGill, Bibb and Bart), his wife (Hall), daughter (Young) and Philadelphia's mayor (Davis) convinces us that he's the good guy. On the other hand, Butler struggles to make us sympathise with his despicable character, who is clearly meant to be righteously indignant.

Except that there's nothing remotely righteous about him. Not one of his actions is forgivable; he's more of a danger than the men who killed his family. And this is the fact that's completely lost on the filmmakers, as there's never a sense that brutality and death are the wrong way to correct an injustice. Indeed, as the pernicious story progresses even the cops, lawyers and judges become cold-blooded killers, and we're supposed to cheer for them.

Which is inexcusable.

Cast & Crew

Director :

Producer : , , Mark Gill, , Alan Siegel,

Comments

Law Abiding Citizen Rating

" Grim "

Rating: 18, 2009

Advertisement

More Jamie Foxx

Horrible Bosses 2 Trailer

In the wake of their struggle to murder their bosses in the first film, 'Horrible Bosses 2' sees Nick (Jason Bateman), Dale (Charlie Day) and...

Will Jamie Foxx Make A Good Mike Tyson?

News emerged recently that the legendary and controversial boxer Mike Tyson will be portrayed on the big screen by Jamie Foxx, in a film rumoured...

Is Jamie Foxx About to Play Mike Tyson?

According to Variety, Jamie Foxx is to star as Kid Dynamite himself, former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world Mike Tyson. Having starred as cornerman...

Spiderman 3 Release Pushed Back to 2018

The Amazing Spider 3 starring Andrew Garfield as the heroic webslinger was set to hit cinemas in 2016, but the title has been pushed back...

Advertisement

'Horrible Bosses 2' Trailer: The Scheming Trio Are Back For Number Two (Poop Jokes Included)

The trailer has been released for the upcoming comedy sequel, Horrible Bosses 2, giving us our first glimpse of the follow-up to the successful and...

With 55%, 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' Is The Worst Spidey Movie Yet

You would have been forgiven for assuming The Amazing Spider-Man 2 had been a monumental success. It's everywhere. Posters, trailers, merchandise. Sony have gone big...

MPTF's Night Before The Oscars Pulling Out Of Partnership With Beverly Hills Hotel

In recent years, besides the glamour, celebrities and red carpet fashion at the Oscars, the show’s ethics have also been put into the spotlight. This...

Box Office Review: "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" Headed For An Adequate $100 Million Debut

Despite heavy promotion, The Amazing-Spider Man 2’s box office outlook going into the weekend isn’t too impressive. The film opens in 4000 theaters this weekend,...

Advertisement