Sunday 20 Apr

Holy Ghost People

Holy Ghost People examines two sisters whose bond is torn — but by what? After her sibling has been missing for more than a year, Charlotte (Emma Greenwell, TV's Shameless) intends to find out.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

No Holds Barred

RLJ Entertainment's new Blu-ray for No Holds Barred begins with what seems like dozens of trailers for movies starring pro wrestlers from the WWE talent pool. Each flick went direct to home video, but once upon a time — aka 1989 — one had to go to the multiplex to catch such a spectacle.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Knights of Badassdom

In 2008, the third act of the guy comedy Role Models used LARPing — live-action role-playing, that is — as a backdrop for our protagonists' lessons learned. Today, Knights of Badassdom extends that half-hour into a full feature, to the point where viewers are left not smiling, but exhausted. 
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Switched on

Not everything on television has to appeal to mass audiences. In fact, with the further fractioning of viewership thanks to alternatives like Netflix and VOD, more series can afford to become more niche. Here are five examples of shows both past and present — and new to DVD and/or Blu-ray — that encompass some of the more outrageous ideas ever to go beyond boardroom discussion.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Confession of Murder

Seventeen years after slaying 10 women and getting away with it, the charismatic serial killer Du-sok (Park Si-hoo) comes clean with a Confession of Murder, in this 2012 South Korean crime thriller. He does so by publishing a book that dishes all the grisly details.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Movies · Action · Law Abiding Citizen

Law Abiding Citizen

None October 22nd, 2009


After witnessing "The Ugly Truth," it's good to see Gerard Butler back in a movie with balls "¦ which he later severs with a box cutter. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Butler stars as Clyde Shelton, the "Law Abiding Citizen" of the title who watches in horror as his wife and child are murdered during a home invasion by two white-trash goons. Somehow, Clyde survives his own wounds, and hopes to see justice.

Not so fast. Nick Rice (Jamie Foxx, "The Soloist"), the hotshot Philadelphia district attorney assigned to the case, doesn't want to risk his 96 percent conviction rate, so he lets the guiltier of the two men, Clarence Darby (Christian Stolte, "Public Enemies"), cop a plea bargain to testify against his partner in crime, Rupert Ames (Josh Stewart, "The Collector"). Ames will go to death row; Darby will go free after only a few years behind bars.

Clyde is livid. So, a full 10 years later, he does something about it. Step one is tinkering with Ames' execution cocktail, which results in a most gruesome final exit. Step two is luring Darby to an abandoned warehouse, where he drugs the coked-up lump with a paralytic toxin and chains him to a slab. Using enough tools to fill an aisle at Lowe's, Clyde extracts his pound of flesh "” and then some "” as he slowly separates Darby's body into, oh, 25 pieces, and sends a DVD of the process to Rice's house for good measure.

With both criminals out of the way, you'd think Clyde's streak of vengeance would be done, but he's just getting warmed up. He
promises to bring down the whole corrupt legal system in a battle that will be "biblical."

Butler is one of the film's producers, so it should be no surprise he gets the chewiest role (even if he seemingly chews with only one side of his mouth). What is unexpected is that the script by Kurt Wimmer ("Street Kings") never quite shifts the audience over from Clyde's side to Rice's. Even as Clyde's acts of revenge grow grislier, we not only still feel for the guy, we actually root for him. Besides, it's difficult to feel sorry for someone like Rice, whose tie alone probably cost a grand.

Director F. Gary Gray "” responsible for one of the greatest thrillers in the last decade with "The Italian Job" "” wrings a fair amount of suspense out of it, but the more you think about the plot, the less sense it makes. Halfway through, the movie throws out a "holy crap" moment that catches the entire audience off-guard. It's a great effect, but I couldn't get over the logic behind it. Wimmer conveniently skips explanation, which is a cheat.

"Citizen" is entertaining while it lasts, but this cat-and-mouse chase could use more cheese.

"”Rod Lott

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5