Monday, 4 June 2012

FILM: Law Abiding Citizen (7/10)

Gerard Butler and Jamie Foxx play the lead roles in Law Abiding Citizen, a brutal thriller in which a father and husband (Butler) makes an example of the legal system that wronged him.

Jamie Foxx plays the prosecutor who makes a plea deal with the man who killed Butler's wife and child. In exacting payback on an attorney for his previous decisions, the film is similar to Cape Fear but LAC actually shares more in common with Saw as Butler cleverly butchers his way through the cast.

LAC begins in an interesting manner and tries to argue the case for both flawed sides of the justice system. However, once Butler lands himself in jail and puts his plan into effect this balanced view disappears and is replaced by a violent killing spree. Butler's logic seems confused as he vehemently denies that his actions are revenge, but by killing everyone close to his case, I struggle to see what else they could be described as. Mass murder of the local justice system seems overkill for ensuring that lessons are learnt. The film will no doubt promote some discussion as to the point at which Butler's character's actions become unjustified and he transgresses from the film's hero to ruthless villain.

Butler outshines Foxx, initially as the troubled father and husband with a cause to fight before his descent into his role as psychopathic murderer.

Law Abiding Citizen had the potential to be a cat and mouse thriller with a conscience but is ultimately just a reasonably decent thriller, but one lacking the clever twists and intelligent ending of Saw.

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