Law Abiding Citizen (2009)

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Law Abiding Citizen
Poster design by bpg (Courtesy IMP Awards)

Seems like Gerard Butler is the new action star in the making with films like 300 and Gamer under his belt, I had high expectations of his newest venture Law Abiding Citizen. Unfortunately, I have to say I was bitterly disappointed. It was probably due to me being a big fan of action films, and having seen the trailers for this movie, I certainly was expecting a lot of action.

Gerard Butler plays Clyde Shelton, a husband and a father to his little girl. However, his family life is to be shattered as two burglars, Ames and Darby, sneak into his house, beat and tie Clyde up, and also tie his wife up, they go on to stab both Clyde and his wife, at which point his daughter walks in, with Clyde helpless, he watches Darby take her to the other room and murder her, as Clyde gradually passes out.

The movie soon moves to the other character, Nick Rice, played by Jamie Foxx. Nick is a high flying lawyer; his only concern is to improve on his 96% conviction rate. Clydes lawyer just happens to be Nick, but the only justice he manages to get Clyde is getting Ames the death sentence and Darby a minimal sentence due to technicalities in the case. Ames being only an accomplice in all this is sentenced to death, while the guilty one gets away scot free. Clyde is heart-broken by the serious miscarriage of justice, blaming both the legal system and Nick.

We now move on 10 years, Nick himself is a father and a husband now, however, his happy family life is disturbed as someone is out to kill off everyone concerned in the Darby case, and it’s upto Nick to get to the bottom of this, before his own family become the next victims.

This movie is mainly about how flawed the legal system can be. The potential was there for it to be a great movie, and I felt the acting was well below par. Gerard’s character needed a lot more developing, so I could actually have felt sorry for his plight, unfortunately this wasn’t to be. I also felt Jamie Foxx was weak in his character, we should have seen someone who was a shark in a suit lawyer, a Mr Nasty, but this role just did not seem to suit Jamie Foxx.

Ok, so I’m finding it hard to find many positives from this movie, so I will just leave it to your own judgements on this movie.

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