Monday, June 13, 2011

REVIEW: Law Abiding Citizen (2009)

Director: F. Gary Gray
Starring: Gerard Butler, Jamie Foxx

What is it with Gerard Butler and doing really poor attempts at social commentaries? First he did the abominable Gamer and now this one. Granted, this is a notch more watchable than Gamer, but it’s still nothing to fawn over, and in fact I’d say I didn’t much like it at all.

The story is about this guy whose wife and daughter are murdered by two guys. When the justice system fails to apprehend them as well as Butler wants, he spends ten years concocting a revenge plan against everyone involved, including his old pal Nick (Jamie Foxx). Butler commits horrendous acts against innocent people in a very hammy, clumsy attempt at making some sort of statement about the justice system…and that’s really all there is to it.

Mostly this movie is just dumb. I could excuse the extreme levels of implausibility at hand if the movie was likeable and smart in other areas, but it’s not. It’s basically just another SAW movie. I didn’t like Gerard Butler’s character because he was a crazy psychopath with no human qualities at all (oh, wait, I forgot about his daughter’s little ring of beads…well, like I said, no human qualities at all). I didn’t like Jamie Foxx because he was a cardboard cutout sometimes and a coldhearted dimwit who couldn’t do his job right the next. There’s basically nothing likeable about this movie. So what are we left with?

GORE! LOTS AND LOTS OF GORE! AND DEATH! Butler sets up ridiculous SAW/Hostel-lite traps, makes “profound” speeches about how smart he is and how much the justice system sucks, and Jamie Foxx incompetently tries to stop him while neglecting his family over and over. There, you don’t even have to watch this movie now; that’s all there is to it.

What really pisses me off though, even more than the fact that this is clearly trying to make some kind of statement about the judicial system in America. There’s one part, where Butler stands up in court and verbally schools the judge on why she’s wrong, that did point out some good things that the film could have elaborated on, but most of the time it isn’t like that. Gerard Butler is not making a statement about how much our judicial system is flawed. He is just killing people. There’s no meaning to any of it, and if you think there is, I advise you to go watch Se7en and see what a real meaningful, intelligent thriller is like. This is just crap. It’s got no subtlety, no grace and nothing about it that’s really likeable or interesting beyond the KUH-RAZY PLOT TWISTS MAN! Ugh.