Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Law Abiding Citizen (2009)


10 years After one of the men who raped and murdered his wife and daughter got let go by rolling on his accomplice, Clyde Shelton (Gerard Butler) decides to enact a bit of revenge on the system that let him go. All the while toying with the prosecutor, Nick Rice (Jamie Foxx) who allowed for the plea bargin.

You know those films that are just so bad, but never manage to be comically bad. Instead they just run through their inept plot, piece of piece, trying to convince you there's a man behind the curtain. Law Abiding Citizen is that kind of film. It wants to have a moral premise, convince you of its importance, and at the same time aimlessly blow things up. In fact the movie's desire to blow things up goes so far it looses all sight of plot, point, and reasoning. It enters the Saw zone where the immediate satisfaction granted by violence outweighs the moral implications, under the false pretense that somehow a point is being made to the viewer. Instead the message intended is lost in the guise of stupid subplots, unnecessary dialogue, and acting that's never beyond mediocre.

Gerard Butler doesn't posses enough range to do all the emotions asked of him, and as such some of his lines come off far more stale than their intended too. Meanwhile Foxx continues his unimpressive post-oscar streak by playing the business oriented father, a role so over done, and in this case paper thin, most of us see his actions coming from miles away. The rest of the cast is basically there. They have their two moments of dialogue that reveals a character quirk, but of course this only comes moment before their impending doom, and still there's no reason to care.

Even with the lack of performances though Gray and Wimmer create nothing for them to build upon. Each new twist in the film seems more idiotic than the last, and it never really develops a strong case for why we should care. The plot rolls along about as well as a square block up the side of a staircase. What's worse is just when the story manages to find any footing, it decides it needs a new character development for its two leads, that's fine, but what they come up with will boggle your mind. Each time devaluing the central story, almost to the point where you'd think it was a Saturday morning cartoon, and not a big budget action film. The only real message that ever manages to get through to the audience comes from the credits, which informs them that the film is over.

What starts off as mediocre only gets worse with each passing moment as Law Abiding Citizen fails to capitalize on any of its plot points, and substituting random action in favor of its message.

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