Law Abiding Citizen

"Weak"

Law Abiding Citizen 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.



Law Abiding Citizen

Facts and Figures

Run time: 109 mins

In Theaters: Friday 16th October 2009

Box Office USA: $73.3M

Box Office Worldwide: $126.7M

Budget: $53M

Distributed by: Overture Films

Production compaines: Film Department, The, Evil Twins, Warp Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 25%
Fresh: 39 Rotten: 117

IMDB: 7.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , , Mark Gill, , Alan Siegel,

Starring: as Nick Rice, as Clyde Alexander Shelton, as Detective Dunnigan, as Jonas Cantrell, as Sarah Lowell, as Detective Garza, as Warden Iger, as Kelly Rice, Emerald-Angel Young as Denise Rice, Christian Stolte as Clarence Darby, as Judge Laura Burch, as Bill Reynolds, as Mayor April Henry, as Bray, as Rupert Ames, as Brian Bringham

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

With its fifth feature-length adventure, this franchise continues its preposterous journey at full tilt. As...

Keanu Movie Review

Keanu Movie Review

An entertaining hybrid of satirical comedy and action thriller, this madcap adventure swerves wildly between...

Ghostbusters Movie Review

Ghostbusters Movie Review

It's been more than 30 years since the Ghostbusters first hit the big screen with...

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

While the original 2013 magical caper was a big hit, it's style-over-substance approach didn't exactly...

Advertisement
The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

It's been nearly 30 years since the last live-action Tarzan movie, and yet it still...

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

A New York comedy with vivid characters and a contrived plot, this feels rather a...

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Nearly 25 years after the sitcom debuted, Edina and Patsy arrive on the big screen...

Central Intelligence Movie Review

Central Intelligence Movie Review

After teaming up with Will Ferrell for Get Hard and Ice Cube for two Ride...

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

Based on a true story, this Chilean drama has a chilling edge to it that's...

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Two decades is a long time to wait for a sequel, especially one starring much...

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

This movie is based on a real meeting between Elvis Presley and Richard Nixon in...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.