Law Abiding Citizen (2009)

Law Abiding Citizen (2009)

Movie Details

Stars: Gerard Butler, Jamie Foxx, Leslie Bibb
Release date: 16 October 2009 (USA)
Genres: Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller
IMDb: 7.4/10
Language: English
Director: F. Gary Gray
Distributed by: Overture Films, The Weinstein Company
Budget: $53 million
Music by: Brian Tyler
Produced by: Lucas Foster; Gerard Butler; Alan Siegel; Mark Gill; Kurt Wimmer; Robert Katz
Runtime: 1 hour 49 minutes


Law Abiding Citizen (2009)


It’s not often that I get so excited about a movie after seeing a trailer for the first time.

to almost count down the hours until the screening, for which the tickets I have booked are already waiting politely at the cinema box office. This happens even less often when I expect a weak film that promises to be an overcomplicated thriller with a completely nonsense script. However, contrary to common sense, all logic and doctor’s recommendations, I fell in love with the trailer of law abiding citizen from… no, not from the first seconds, but from the words spoken by the mayor: “We have him under lock and key and he’s still killing people?” At this point, any normal viewer would have had a warning light go off in their head. However, I felt that another representative of the elite “so bad it’s good” genre was being created before my eyes. So I adjusted myself to the appropriate mood and decided to go to the cinema to satisfy my unusual expectations. And it was like this…

Clyde Shelton (Gerard Butler) is a talented engineer who loses his wife and daughter and is injured in a robbery. The criminals are caught, and a morbidly ambitious lawyer, Nick Rice (Jamie Foxx), fights to convict them. Fearing defeat in the courtroom, he decides, against Clyde’s will, to reach a settlement with one of the killers, agreeing with him that he will blame the other for the testimony of the other for easing the sentence, thus ensuring a victory for the prosecutor, which he will be able to include in his statistics for boasting purposes. almost one hundred percent effectiveness. Meanwhile, the wronged and deceived husband and father goes into hiding for ten years, preparing not only a plan of revenge, but also a message to the world.

So yes: Butler is another movie murderer who, through his actions, wants to change people’s mentality and correct the mistakes of those in power. In law abiding citizen he takes issue with the American justice system, pointing out its weakness and heartlessness. Stop! What was that word that appeared in the back of my skull and went to the tip of my tongue? Keynote? The message? Please, not this one! As a result, the film may not put the pedal to the metal and may not cross the magical border of “… so good” and remain in the place of “so bad… that there are no words.” Fortunately, someone behind the camera comes to his senses relatively quickly and puts on film several scenes filled with lush B-class dialogues, in which the hero played by Butler announces events worthy of the Apocalypse, smiling sneeringly after each completed sentence.

At this point in the review there is a twist. It turns out that the film does not meet initial expectations. In fact, you can even watch it without pain after each terrible dialogue (and such dialogues are rare), without shaking your head after each plot twist (because even though they are neither very creative nor credible, they are a bit closer to the status of nonsense however, is missing), and even without the support of organic compounds resulting from fermentation, which usually put every Hollywood production in a slightly more favorable light.

The fact that law abiding citizen is watchable does not mean that it immediately becomes good, but there are a few elements that you may like about it. You may like, for example… Gerard Butler, who is constantly trying something new, jumping from historical brawls, through comedies, to gangsters made by Guy Ritchie (by the way – the guy is a bit screwed, of course Butler, not Ritchie, because Leonidas from 300 and “This is Sparta!” will stick with him for the rest of his life). Whether these attempts were successful or not is another matter, but as an uncompromising, tough guy, ready for anything, who accepts blows to the face almost without blinking an eye, and treats his opponent with a one-liner and the previously mentioned smile in every meeting – he checks perfect. I’m even willing to risk saying that the scene in which he appears in court as his own defense attorney is really good, without any “buts…”, “considering…” and “taking into account…”.

And everything would be nice, if it weren’t for the fact that the law abiding citizen must end and the threads must be closed. The issue of the incompetence of courts and choosing the lesser evil at all costs, raised at the beginning and during the film, fades away over time, and the ending presented to us, showing the internal transformation of one man, is shockingly clichéd. By the end, even the script’s trick of moving one of the characters from one place to another at a speed that seems to suggest that he has bent time and space becomes insignificant. This is one of the reasons why The Law of Vengeance falls somewhere in the “just nothing” category. Which doesn’t change the fact that I simply like Butler and my rating goes up one notch for him.

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