Director: F. Gary Gray
Writer: Kurt Wimmer
Cast: Gerard Butler, Jamie Foxx, Bruce McGill, and Leslie Bibb
Rated: R (bloody violence, language)
After Clyde Shelton’s wife and daughter are brutally slain during a home invasion, Clyde is left for dead but ends up surviving. While struggling to recover from the loss of his family, Clyde also has to deal with the results of a justice system that put one of the killers back on the streets. Clyde decides to get revenge, and more, and does so to the extreme.
One of the first things that will shock viewers very early on in the film is a scene where Clyde gets his revenge on one of the killers. The brutality of this scene goes beyond a simple eye-for-an-eye mentality. No, Clyde takes every possible appendage for an eye, and them some. It’s a this point we realize Clyde isn’t just a man suffering from a tragic loss, but a dangerous man who’s sanity might be questioned.
I would have thought the film could have ended in the first 20 minutes, but I soon enough realized this is more than a revenge film. It is more of a character study of Clyde while he acts out a much larger plan than simply vengeance. I was sucked into this film and couldn’t stop watching. I couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen next, and couldn’t stop asking myself questions about why and how certain things happened.
While the whole concept of the film had me in disbelief, it was still a hell of a ride. The film is both an entertaining action flick and also thought provoking, a rare thing in Hollywood movies these days. The acting was superb and every scene was effective. I recently reviewed The Life of David Gale and similar to that movie, Law Abiding Citizen is a portrait of a man going to the extreme to make his point. They’re also both films that make us realize the reality of a flawed justice system. IMDb/trailer | Official movie site