LAW ABIDING CITIZEN


2009

DIRECTOR: F. Gary Gray

Contains Spoilers

In the opening few minutes of this high concept thriller, Gerard Butler is forced to watch his wife and daughter raped and murdered by two home invaders, but luckily, we’re note expect to.

Following this attack, Jamie Fox’s D.A. makes a deal with the worst of the two offenders to guarantee the death penalty for the other in order to secure a conviction, in the belief that some justice is better that risking no justice. Let’s just say that Butler disagrees. Ten years later, he has hatched an incredibly elaborate plan for revenge, firstly against the two murderers and then against Fox’s legal team, whom he believes need a lesson in justice.

All in all, this sounds pretty average but in the end it wasn’t. It was enjoyable, moralistic and though contrived, you find yourselves not caring to much about the faults and just getting caught up in the crusade. It’s a film where both sides are right and wrong, with an anti-hero in Butler who you can get behind as his cause is just, though his methods are not. But Fox is not the bad guy here either, as he made an understandable decision though it may have been lacking in integrity.

This film is held together by some good solid performances from Butler, Fox and Colm Meaney who delivers a toned down performance as a straight forward cop. But everyone seems to be on form for this one, and the direction, by The Negotiator & The Italian Job’s, F. Gary Gray is equally as solid, with a tempered hand over some outlandish scenes.

This was enjoyable, clever, witty and at times tense, though its semi-predictability works in its favour.

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