Law Abiding Citizen (R) - 2009 - Runtime: 108 minutes
Starring: Jamie Foxx, Gerard Butler
Director: F. Gary Gray
Despite all the persistent rumors I've heard of this movie being "Saw in the Courtroom," it's not really that gruesome. In fact, I found all the torture bits to be quite entertaining. I was indeed rooting for Gerard Butler's character (Clyde Shelton) throughout and was somewhat disappointed with the ending. But this wasn't a bad movie at all - it did keep me guessing all the way through.
Clyde Shelton is a man who is out for justice. After watching his wife and daughter get brutally raped and murdered, he's out to set things right. He watches as the system fails to provide equal justice - one of the men who break into his house gets off with a light jail sentence after testifying against the other. And Jamie Foxx plays Nick Rice, the hotshot lawyer who cuts a deal with the murderer. Snap forward ten years and Shelton is out looking to exact revenge on everyone involved in the trial. It's a decent plot that had a few surprising turns. And I don't care what people will say - I still think the hero is Shelton. Rice is such a dick to the extent that you don't like him. The same goes for everyone else in the trial. Even the judge pretty much thinks she above the law. So I found it satisfying that Shelton was playing puppet master to all the authority figures.
I will say that you do have to suspend some disbelief in the story. While in the movie you're along for the ride, but after it ends there's some lingering questions as to how and why. But that doesn't detract from the movie - it's pure popcorn fluff after all. And even though I feel like there is some sort of message about the justice system and the morality of justice, it all gets pretty much lost in the thrill of the moment and who's going to die next. I did feel let down at the ending because I was, "That's it? Really?" This may be because I had my own theories as to what was going on and they were completely wrong! So my bitterness might have something to do with my opinion of the ending.
Overall, I enjoyed the movie a lot, but just don't expect to be thinking about it days after. It's a good thrill and one that will keep you guessing up until the end. But I felt that the movie could have ended on a much darker note and would have been completely satisfying. The movie's out on DVD this Tuesday, so rent it!
Rating: Rent It!