Oct 19 2009

Law Abiding Citizen

Law Abiding CitizenThis weekend, we went to see a movie titled “Law Abiding Citizen“. It stars Gerard Butler (“This is Sparta!”) and Jamie Foxx (no relation to Megan Fox because of the single “x” and parentage or some such triviality). I was told this was a “good daddy movie”… and I’d tend to agree, as long as there’s no conflict between “good” and “terrorist”.

On its surface, “Law Abiding Citizen” is your typical movie about an ex-soldier/secret agent who decides to use his extreme military skills to wreak havoc on his enemies. The movie quickly veers into gray areas because the protagonist employs blackmail, murder, and general terrorism to make the judicial system question itself and its priorities. While the main character’s agenda is interesting, in the end it is just an excuse for torture-porn and large fiery explosions. Because of this, I’m disinclined to give this movie a great deal of thought even if I did enjoy rooting for the main character (who had a healthy serving of tragedy with a side of injustice early in the film). While he had every right to be angry, pissed, even murderous… (in my opinion) he carries it too far when he starts blowing up people that were only peripherally (if that) involved in the original case.

Is there a lesson here? Not really. The movie actually gets silly toward the end when the writer runs out of novel ways for the protagonist to kill people (his specialty) and resorts to mechanized military hardware. I guess the main problem with the movie (which is the part I liked the best) is that somewhere in the middle, the protagonist and antagonist switch roles. It might be interesting to poll a number of people and find out when (or if) they think this switch takes place. Personally, I think it happened much later than it probably did for other people… But that’s just me. I can be vindictive like that, well… at least in my imagination.

“Spies are a dime a dozen. Clyde was a brain, the best. If he wants you dead, you’re dead.”

3.5 out of 5