Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Law Abiding Citizen (Review)

     I love theaters, so, I'll often go to see movies that I wouldn't normally rent or bother with on cable.  In the past, I have been pleasantly surprised.  Other times, well, I got out and I went to a theater and all knowledge is good, even if that knowledge is just how badly a film sucked.  (Hey, I could have went with, "Eternal vigilance is the price of integrity," but then I'd have to go see stuff like "Twilight" just so I could dog it in the review, and I'm just not willing to pay that price.)  That's why I went to see "Law Abiding Citizen."  It looked like it might have potential.  It seemed like it might be worth taking a chance on.  I needed to get out and go somewhere or I was going to go crazy.  Luckily, "Law Abiding Citizen" was not really a bad movie.  Sadly, it wasn't a very good movie either.  It had potential, and it simply failed to live up to it. 

    Starring Gerard Butler as Clyde Shelton, a man who's family is murdered by thieves, and Jamie Foxx as Nick Rice, prosecutor who cuts a plea deal with one of the two accused to get a guaranteed conviction on the other one, "Law Abiding Citizen" seemed like it was going to be another "Se7en," complete with a moral lesson spelled out in blood across a city and everyone who will learn, too late, what that lesson is playing right into the intricate plan, but, in the end, it turns out to be something between an action flick and a crime drama. 

     "Law Abiding Citizen" is actually not poorly done, film wise.  Butler and Foxx do good enough jobs, although their parts are not exactly challenging, the action isn't over the top, although there isn't enough of it for those looking for an action flick, and there seems to be a point to all of it, but this is where the film fails, because there actually is no point beyond, don't make deals with murders.  The film seemed to be building toward an ending where Foxx's character would have to make a choice between stopping the killing by breaking the law, thereby proving a point being made by Butler's character, or do what the systems demands of him and allowing people to die or even, maybe, allowing Butler's character to go free because his constitutional rights had been violated, instead, it ended with the lesson being quite shallow and a big explosion.  How very sad.  There isn't even a clear moral good guy vs. bad guy in this film, just some explosions and killing. 

     If you are looking to turn off your brain for a while and waste the better part of two hours, "Law Abiding Citizen" is a reasonably well done popcorn flick.  If you expect some kind of thought process to have gone into the screenplay and to get some kind of meaning from your time, you'll be sorely disappointed. 

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