DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Darkmatters Review: Law Abiding Citizen

Law Abiding Citizen (18)

Dir. F. Gary Gray

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

What would you do if your wife and child were brutalized and murdered in front of you whilst you lay stabbed and potentially dying? This is the hard hitting opening gambit of Law Abiding Citizen – a thought provoking and slick revenge action effort.

So we have nice guy Clyde Shelton (an in form Gerald Butler) taking ‘biblical’ vengeance not only on the killers of his family – one of whom gets away with a minor jail term - but the whole legal system that allowed this to happen.

Nick Rice (Jamie Foxx) is the successful Philadelphia prosecutor who cuts a deal with one of the killers in order to maintain his 96% conviction rate. Ten years later this doesn’t seem like quite such a good idea when Shelton sets about on a gruesome and coolly administered campaign of revenge. After making sure the killers die in horrible fashion (we’re talking Saw levels of torture at one point), it is Rice and his team who become the targets of Shelton’s rage.
Nobody is safe from assassination or menace as the self entitled ‘Law Abiding Citizen’ somehow manages to employ high powered sniper rifles, gun toting robots, car bombs and underground coffins to grisly effect – whilst all the while locked up in maximum security.

The whole city of Philadelphia is gripped with fear as Shelton's high-profile targets are taken out with extreme prejudice. Can anything or anyone stop the sociopathic slaughter of seemingly well protected member of the justice system? Butler gives a great performance, dragging you along in the wake of his heinous deeds and buying enough of your sympathy to make it some time before you realize just how far over the edge he has gone. Foxx is quality too as the man trapped by his own decisions into becoming Shelton’s number one target. You can expect lots of expositional dialogue like: “If he's in jail, it's because he wants to be in jail. He's a born tactician. 

Anybody who had anything to do with that case, he's gonna be comin' after you.”
It’s all very stupid and highly grim in places too but Law Abiding Citizen will certainly make you think. Butler is carving out a role as the new action hero to watch and whilst this won’t be remembered as one of his best, he is very watchable.

Darkmatters final rating / out of 10: ööööööö (7 – does an ok job but was hoping for more!)

Darkmatters quick reference guide:

Action 7 (moments of watchable if grisly action)

Style 7 (tightly directed location shots - nice prison setting)

Babes 4 (not really one for female eye-candy)

Comedy 6 (possibly more unintentionally funny)

Horror 7 (some torture porn elements)

Spiritual Enlightenment 0 (morally ambiguous) 

1 comment:

Clenbuterol said...

I must watch this film!!