Law Abiding Citizen (C+)

Law Abiding CitizenI think Gerard Butler was trying to channel Anthony Hopkins’ Hannibal for his role here. Well, he mostly failed.

Law Abiding Citizen is F. Gary Gray’s (The Italian Job) attempt at striking social commentary, fusing elements of the vigilantism from V For Vendetta with the grotesque violence of the Saw franchise and bits of Michael Bay’s love for explosives. Put together, all of these fall short of anything spectacular and the Jamie Foxx-Gerard Butler pairing doesn’t seem to amount to anything much other than a few interesting confrontations.

For a film that starts off quite strongly with its first act, it never seems to take flight and Butler’s deranged Clyde Shelton emerges as a one-man war machine on a path to blow the hell out of anyone he deems corrupt, with an almost Crisostomo Ibarra-like enigma to him.

Keyword is almost – actually not even almost, it’s not even close.

Probably the only intelligent thing that discernable from the film is the fascinating scene between Shelton and the lady judge where the interaction is apparent between the pure chaos Butler’s character intends to ensue with the legalistic and ultimately closed-minded view of the law.

What could have been a film with lots of potential given the star power involved, Law Abiding Citizen slowly rolls downhill and dismembers itself. The film simply tries too hard with too little and takes itself too seriously in a genre where nerves, just like Clyde Shelton, just need to be let loose.

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2 Responses to “Law Abiding Citizen (C+)”

  1. Disclaimer: SPOILERS be ahead!

    The premise was really good. And yes, it was more of a social commentary, though I really don’t see how it couldn’t be “clear evidence” that Clyde had killed Darby. Also, I don’t see how his end goal (big bomb in City Hall) in any way helping change the laws of the justice system.

    However, I did find it a good watch. (The Justice and the bloody cellphone keep replaying in my morbid brain) I would have to give this a B, for myself. Haha.

  2. carlochong Says:

    spoilers ahead too:

    nakakadisturb ung lethal injection scene mehn! HAHAHA! it was okay lang for me, couldve been better though:)

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