||Law Abiding Citizen
Movie Details: View Here
Audio Commentary Featuring Producers Lucas Foster and Alan Siegel
The Justice Of Law Abiding Citizen
Law In Black and White - Behind The Scenes
Preliminary Arguments - The Visual Effects of Law Abiding Citizen
The Verdict - Winning Trailer mash-Up
Video: Widescreen 2.40:1 Color (Anamorphic)
Audio: English: Dolby Digital 5.1 [CC]
Run Time: 109 min
Synopsis from DVD Cover:
Clyde Shelton (Gerard Butler) is an upstanding family man whose wife and daughter were brutally murdered during a home invasion. When the killers are caught, Nick Rice (Jamie Foxx), a hotshot young Philadelphia prosecutor, is assigned to the case. Against his will, Nick is forced to offer one of the suspects a light sentence in exchange for testifying against his accomplice.
Fast forward ten years. The man who got away with murder is found dead and Clyde Shelton coolly admits his guilt. Then he issues a warning to Nick: either fix the flawed justice system, or key players in the trail will die. Soon Shelton follows through on his threats, orchestrating from his jail cell a string of spectacularly diabolical assassinations that can be neither predicted nor prevented. Nick finds himself in a desperate race against time facing a deadly adversary who always seems to be one step ahead.
"Law Abiding Citizen" is that rare combination of almost-guilty-pleasure revenge flick with thought provoker with crime drama. It makes you think about the responsibility we all have towards human life, while at the same time, there are moments we feel like cheering like a vaudeville audience. But who to cheer for? There are problems with the film's climax, if you think about it too long, but up until then it's an entertaining ride with a touch of thinking.
It all starts when Clyde Shelton's (Gerard Butler) happy home is brutally invaded by two men during a home invasion that ends with the murders of his wife and children. The killers are apprehended, but because prosecutor Nick Rice (Jamie Foxx) is more worried about his conviction numbers than getting full justice, one of the two men-the worst of the two to boot-gets off with a short sentence by turning on his partner. This sets Shelton on the path to revenge, but not just revenge against the perpetrators-revenge against the system that allowed them to get away with murder.
The biggest thing that's wrong with "Law Abiding Citizen" occurs in the last few minutes, and is wrong only if you are unable to ignore all the legal implications of what actually happens, as well as the logical implausibilities. Sometimes things like this can be ignored, for example, in shows like "24," where some things should just be accepted in order to move on. Here, though, it's almost distracting to the point of lessening my opinion of the film. Up until then, though, this is a thoroughly entertaining action drama that's well acted by both leads (Foxx does smug and self-righteous quite nicely, and I can't help it, no matter who he kills, I root for Butler), and the supporters are good as well. What works best is that, the killer makes some good points, but then, so does the smarmy lawyer. There's a moral ambiguity that makes the "crimes" questionable until they begin to affect the innocent, and it's kind of fu to have to question what we think is right, wrong, and justifiable.
The Special Features start off with a decent Audio Commentary from producers Lucas Foster and Alan Siegel that actually gives a lot of insight into the entire production and is better than you might think when you hear it's free of the director or actors' input. There are also three short featurettes that examine different aspects of the story: "The Justice of Law Abiding Citizens," an interview piece; "Law in Black and White," a black and white Making Of; and "Preliminary Arguments," which looks at some of the visual effects used throughout the movie. Oh, and there are two trailers for the film, worth noting because one was actually a contest winner in the appropriately named Law Abiding Citizen trailer mash-up contest. It's a pretty comprehensive package, though not exactly that long.
I liked "Law Abiding Citizen" when I saw it in theaters, and it's still good even upon second watching, save some questionable story choices near the end.