Friday, 11 May 2012
Law Abiding Citizen (2009)
Immediately following Taken on Film4, Law Abiding Citizen was shown, and I feel I should be forgiven for thinking that I was about to see a re-run of the very same plot. Gerard Butler is Clyde Shelton, who seems to be your average Joe Public. In the very first scene two guys get into his house, stab Clyde, stab and rape his wife, and kill his daughter. Clyde survives, but he sees everything that is wrong with the law when lawyer Nick Rice (Jamie Foxx) makes a deal with one of the killers which sees him only get 5 years inside, while the other guy goes to death row. Clyde is therefore out for revenge.
Based on that, you may think that this is hardly different from any other revenge plot, but actually this film isn't like that at all. I don't really want to say any more, otherwise I will completely spoil the rest of the plot. The brief synopsis above is essentially only the first 5 minutes of the film; the rest is not what you would expect from this genre. That's not to say there is a massive twist (he's not Kaiser Soze), and it is not a fantastic film, just quite a cool gruesome crime thriller that is different enough from the norm to stand out from the crowd.
Butler is good as the main protagonist, he is the perfect actor to play the calm, manipulative and vengeful Clyde. Foxx is fine, but he doesn't own the character, and there are many other actors who could have played Nick Rice. There are plenty of fairly shocking moments, and director F. Gary Gray manages to keep up the tension and intrigue until we find out what has been going on in the final act of the movie. If you like your crime thrillers, then I would recommend Law Abiding Citizen; nothing amazing but it was good enough to stop me going to bed past midnight!