Jul 4, 2010

Law Abiding Citizen Review

image from Amazon

Clyde Shelton (Gerard Butler of 300 fame) is victim to a home-invasion that sees his wife and daughter murdered, as well as himself attempted to be murdered. Shelton takes the case to court with Nick Rice (Jamie Fox) as his lawyer but through legal loopholes, with all the perfect evidence, one of the home invaders gets the death penalty and the other gets a couple of years in prison. 10 years later Clyde Shelton returns totally insane and decides to slaughter every single living person who had ANYTHING to do with his court case, considering it justice for an imperfect justice system. Things get particularly crazy when the murders continue after he's been put into jail.

There doesn't feel like the writers for this film wanted to create a plot so much as they did create a series of really awesome scenes and strung them together. Everything was understandable but the characters had no depth or background to them, and everyone who died were essentially just mindless extras. Because no one really has a strong background or well-rounded character, I spent the whole movie conflicted on who to root for. Do I cheer for the deranged psychopath, whom really I have to admit was screwed in the beginning of the movie by legal loophole, or do I root for the sleazy lawyer who's now got the weight of the world on his shoulders?

My Highlights:
The death of Judge Laura Burch, which I absolutely did not see coming in the manner it did, and the death of Clarence J. Darby which was so elaborate and beautiful it felt like it belonged on one of my favorite TV shows: Dexter.

Overall Rating:
There were some awesome scenes in the film and as a foundation the film had a ton of potential. Unfortunately things got kind of muddled and too gray to make out the outlines, so I'll give the film a respectable 3 *'s out of 5, or 6 *'s out of 10, particularly because I love a good revenge flick.

When You Should See It:
It's not bad at all, and if it comes on USA Network, or F/X, give it a whirl. It won't be for everyone, especially if you're looking for a thinker-film, but it's not worth the effort to avoid.

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