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Published on November 20th, 2009 | by Rob Cumiskey


Law Abiding Citizen

I caught the preview of this film thanks to Kate Bowe PR in October. The film stars Jamie Foxx and Gerard Butler and is directed by F. Gary Gray (who also directed Be Cool and The Negotiator). The premise is simple enough. A man has his wife and child killed by two men who break into his house and they get away leaving him for dead. Jamie Foxx fights on Butler’s behalf and manages to get the chair for the less guilty of the two criminals, and a few years in prison for the other. Butler is not satisfied with this and decides to take it upon himself to get his own justice for what happened to his family.

The movie poses some very valid debates, makes important points and should have a fair amount of impact on the viewer. In reality, it’s quite a mess. The violence is senseless and borderline comical, the script is dreadfully poor and the movie descends into a poor, unworthy tribute to The Dark Knight. Even the soundtrack attempts in vain to emulate what Christopher Nolan’s epic blockbuster achieved last summer.

It’s such a pity that an Oscar winner like Jamie Foxx can be lowered to delivering such Will Smith lines as ‘Hell No’ in response to life threatening situations (though Foxx did act in Miami Vice…). Butler does his cheeky best, and it’s much more at his level of film. More explosions and manly one liners than actual thought provoking and subtle cinema. The movie hit number two in the States if that means anything?

If I’m to be honest I expected much better and left very unfulfilled and disappointed. Don’t bother!


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Pop Culture fanatic, Aston Villa supporter, lover of penguins.

13 Responses to Law Abiding Citizen

  1. Darren Byrne says:

    This one strikes me as a ‘you-can-judge-a-book-by-its-cover’ kind of film. Switch brain off and enjoy.

    Did you see Taken last year? How does it compare with Neeson’s action flick?

  2. Even though Taken was panned by most critics, I found it to be quite engaging and it certainly didn’t hold back…Law Abiding Citizen on the other hand is just a mess really. Doesn’t know what it wants to be and the script is really poor. I was a little disappointed because I thought that it was going to be similar to Taken myself…

  3. Niall says:

    I love Taken. Really can’t understand why it gets dissed in some quarters.

    Gerard Butler has made some truly awful decisions post 300. This, Gamer, PS I Love You…

  4. Emlyn says:

    Agreed, I found ‘Taken’ very watchable despite (mostly snobbish) reviews and a logic gap or two. Not too sure i’d want to see this though.

  5. Darren Byrne says:

    Just so we’re clear, I really loved Taken. Neeson made a great action star. Looking forward to seeing his take on Hannibal in The A-Team.

  6. Niamh says:

    I have to agree with you Rob and say that this film was pants. It went way over the top in trying to be clever and awesome and instead ended up just being ridiculous.
    I had been looking forward to it too after seeing the trailers….but the trailer LIED!!

    4/10 is about right for the unintentional entertainment of it being so silly 🙂

  7. @Niall agreed, Butler is a bit of a mess…

    @Darren I really did enjoy Taken too…I was surprised. Cannot wait for the A Team

    @Emlyn I wouldn’t bother!

    @Niamh Thanks! Such lies. It worked for them though, hitting number 2 in the States!

  8. Darren Byrne says:

    After 300, I loved Butler. I had such respect for him even. He went on to do a bunch of awful films and I was still waiting for him to redeem himself – I thought it was a bad run.

    Then last Friday night I saw him on Jonathan Ross’s show. He just came across as a dunce. Here, if you can bear it:

  9. He’s not an awfully interesting fellow is he?

  10. Keleher says:

    Liked Butler in ‘300’ and the film itself.
    I did not see ‘Taken’ but then I get out to see a film at a theatre every month or two, catch most on ‘HBO’ etc. Looking forward to Neeson in ‘A-Team’.

  11. Niall says:

    @Keleher Taken is out on DVD and Blu-ray. It’s not expensive either. My Blu-ray version cost €15. You should check it out.

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