Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Law Abiding Citizen - DVD Review


Starring Jamie Foxx, Gerard Butler, Bruce McGill, Colm Meaney, Leslie Bibb, Viola Davis and Gregory Itzin.
Directed by F. Gary Gray.

It's one of those maybe-worth-a-rental pulp movies. Gerard Butler is a normal guy whose wife and child are murdered in front of him after two men break into his house. The guy that actually killed the wife and child cuts a deal with the prosecuting attorney (Jamie Foxx) to testify against his partner, who actually just watched. As a result, the main killer only serves three years while the other guy gets death row.

Ten years later, the partner is scheduled to die. Foxx shows up to watch, and he's surprised Butler's not there but he doesn't really think about it. But then the guy's lethal injection goes wrong, and his death is painful.

Meanwhile Butler abducts the main killer. He awakens strapped to a table, surrounded by surgical equipment and power tools. Butler is there. He actually did contract work for the CIA and is quite resourceful. He's also gone a bit nuts over the past ten years. He explains what he's going to do to the man, turns on the camcorder, revs up the power saw... Next scene, please!

Butler is thrown in jail, but he's not done yet. The killer's defense attorney, the judge on the case, no one is safe. And people keep dying while Butler sits in jail. How is he doing it?

This takes the revenge flick one step farther. He gets his revenge against the killers, but he does it so gruesomely we can't really support him. And while "the system" let him down, do they really all deserve to die? And how far will Foxx go to stop him? What am I rooting for here?

The ending is over-the-top and illogical, but it's par for the course as to what led to it. And it kept my interest throughout.

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