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Law Abiding Citizen

2009-11-05 13:33
 

What it's about:

Clyde Shelton’s (Gerard Butler) wife and daughter are killed by thugs during a burglary. The killers are apprehended, but one of them turns state witness and gets away with a light sentence. This enrages Clyde, and he plans a needlessly complicated revenge on the justice system that he feels let him down. It’s up to prosecuting attorney, Nick Rice (Jamie Foxx) to stop him, before he loses his own family.

What we thought:

If I can say anything about Law Abiding Citizen, it’s that it insults your intelligence with the relentless aggression of a drunken teenager vandalising a hated school teacher’s car. From the trailer, you’ll know that the smug Clyde orchestrates his revenge from inside his prison cell, while the helpless authorities look on; making this a kind of Taxi Driver meets Saw. Unfortunately this movie is more ludicrous than the whole Saw franchise, while trying to sell itself as a serious thriller.

Gerard Butler plays his usual smug self, and the same goes for Jamie Foxx. They deliver every line so slickly that they can’t help but sound a bit contrived, and this is where their problem lies. The script it so awful that hearing these lines delivered with any sort of gravity is beyond a joke.

There is an early scene where Clyde makes a false confession to Nick that wouldn’t fool a five-year-old, but it takes Clyde gloatingly pointing it out to the city’s top criminal prosecutor that he only said he planned to kill the man… in his mind. Wow. If this movie wasn't intended to be as ludicrous as it turned out, then something was messed up terribly and the entire crew should have been fired and the project abandoned, but here I am writing about it. Go figure.

As ridiculous as the dialogue is, the plot is actually worse. The premise is a mess, as Clyde is initially portrayed as a desperate family man, then a criminal mastermind with the skills of MacGyver, but we are supposed to feel sorry for him anyway. On his vengeful mission he ends up causing far more death and mayhem than the burglars who attacked him, but the movie still sticks to the tired old tagline of one man against a skewed system. Later revelations about his past only add to the idiocy.

Every "shock" plot twist fails to do the already flimsy script any service, and by the end of the movie you will be amazed that they haven’t just gone the whole hog and introduced technology out of Star Trek, or revealed Clyde to be the ghost of a Civil War general, or something equally lame.

The shame about the whole thing is that it is paced well, and if the script wasn’t so bad, it could be a passable thriller. I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone, purely because a second’s reflection on this travesty will have you shaking your head in disgust. You've been warned.


An everyday guy decides to take justice into his own hands after a plea bargain sets his family's killers free. His target: The district attorney who orchestrated the deal.

Barry 2009/11/05 8:08 AM
You know this critic is a low earning individual and that’s why the producers of the movie are millionaires , because they don’t give a continental about what Ivan has to say , simple put if we had to listen to the Barry Rongers and Ivan Sadlers of this world we would be reading their drivel and not watching a good movie , thank god for that small mercies
Shaina 2009/11/05 10:19 AM
"From the trailer, you’ll know that the smug Clive orchestrates his revenge from inside his prison cell". The character's name is Clyde. For someone who can't get the character's name right, I doubt whether you should be reviewing any movies.
Sean 2009/11/05 10:58 AM
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I was also amused by the incorrect usage of the lead characters name. Top notch reporting, maybe next time try proof reading. Another tip, if the movies genre is given as action/adventure what makes you think that it's "trying to sell itself as a serious thriller." Hmmm...
Baas Koos 2009/11/05 10:59 AM
this movie was brilliant man!! you got a soure arse or what? plse dont comment again Ivan!
YTAH 2009/11/06 8:31 AM
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@Baas Koos et al. It's not a "comment", it's a "review". It's "lead character's" name" or "lead characters' names", not "lead characters name". It's "proof-reading" or "proofreading", not "proof reading". It's "the movie's genre" not "the movies genre". It's "low-earning individual" not "low earning individual". It's "millionaires,", not "millionaires ,". It's "has to say. Simply put" not "has to say , simple put", and don't get me started on your last sentence, BARRY. Also, Clive/Clyde, who gives a f@C%? By the end of this movie, you wouldn't care what your OWN name is. It's badly scripted and insultingly stupid.
Chris 2009/11/08 11:10 PM
Ivan Sadler..? Were you on crack when you watched this film?? This was an awesome thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat they whole way through.
tam 2009/11/09 9:43 AM
this movie was brillant
craig 2009/11/10 2:50 PM
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DID YOU ACTUALLY SEE THE MOVIE???? I dought it..Whatever you do, I hope being a movie critique is not your main souce of income...you must be a pauper if it is...
Michael 2009/11/11 11:19 AM
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This review sucks. I watched the movie last night and I thought that it was pretty decent. It is typical for a critic to criticise something he/she could not make in the first place. This guy should go and review garden snails instead.
Miss Thang 2009/11/16 3:39 PM
I thought this movie rocked!
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