Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Law Abiding Citizen
The latest film from F. Gary Gray, who has a great track record with "Set it Off", "The Negotiator", "The Italian Job", stars Jamie Foxx and Gerard Butler in a cat and mouse game of a man fighting a system he sees as corrupt and in need of a lesson.
Jamie Foxx plays a fast-rising Philly prosecutor with goals of being a DA and possibly mayor and intent on maintaining a high conviction rate. Gerard Butler is a brilliant gadget-man/inventor whos wife and daughter are killed during a home invasion. Nick (Jamie Foxx) cuts a deal with one of the criminals in order to secure a conviction. This move creates the very interesting story of what happens when one man fights back in order to prove his point. The most interesting part is trying to figure out who to root for and wondering if Clyde (Gerard Butler) is an ordinary citizen or actually a psychopath who will stop at nothing to right a wrong. At what point does torture and murder cross the line into becoming a serial killer?
Although the movie relies on some very gruesome and ingenious ways to dispose of many involved in the deal that let the killer go free, it does stay in the gray for most of the movie and makes you question yourself and ask if you would do the same thing. There is great sub-text about citizens rights, torture, the death penalty and the justice system that keep the story from bogging down.
The token ending, where we see our prosecutor realize the folly of his ways and attend his daughters recital, was laughable. Aside from that, I thought it was a well directed effort and a movie that will keep you thinking after the credits roll.