Home > Uncategorized > My ‘review’ of Gerard Butler movie ‘Law Abiding Citizen’

My ‘review’ of Gerard Butler movie ‘Law Abiding Citizen’

You know the drill: I don’t “review” movies in the traditional sense of the word since I believe that film critics like Roger Ebert are knuckle-headed snobs.

Law Abiding Citizen focues on an engineer played by Gerard Butler whose home is broken into by two intruders. There to rob the place, one of the sickos decides to rape Butler’s wife and then rape/murder his daughter (the camera doesn’t show what he does to her).

Butler wants justice, but an assistant district attorney played by Jamie Foxx tells him the rapist/murderer has plea bargained to testify against his accomplice in exchange for a light sentence. He’ll do four years or so and be free while the other guy will get the death penalty.

“But I want to testify and put BOTH guys away!” Butler’s character says.

Foxx’s character then tells him that because he blacked out during the assault he’d be an unreliable witness with the two criminals getting acquitted–especially since the DNA evidence gathered has been rendered inadmissible.

So, that’s what happens. Ten years later the accomplice in prison dies an agonizing death by lethal injection, something that’s supposed to be relatively painless. Police later find the main bad guy’s remains in an abandoned warehouse. He’d been tortured to death and dismembered.

Police believe Butler’s character is at fault, but through skillful legal maneuvering he’s able to work out deals for himself. He then starts going after all the judges and lawyers responsible for his wife and daughter’s murders not being brought to justice.

What I liked about this movie: Gerard Butler’s not potentially Mr. Jennifer Aniston, he’s his own man. And a very credible actor. I also liked the story and how it prompts discussion: can we really feel sorry for the deaths of two worthless criminals? How about the deaths of legal folks who failed miserably to bring murderers to justice?

What I didn’t like about this movie: For one, Jamie Foxx. This movie makes me think anybody could’ve won an Oscar for playing Ray Charles. Foxx’s character was smug and condescending and never seems grasp the hurt and anguish Butler’s character feels about the tragic loss of his own family. Zero empathy. Maybe that’s the way the character was written, or maybe Foxx isn’t really that good of an actor.

They also never quite explained how he could rush to make a deal and they never explained how the DNA evidence was thrown out. As for the assertion that Butler’s blacked out character wouldn’t make a credible witness, how would a violent criminal who’s ratting on his partner?

I’m sorry to say, but I kept hoping in vain that Foxx’s character would get killed off in the revenge rage that Butler’s character went on. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be, and we’re stuck with an incredibly cheesy ending where Foxx finally makes the time to attend his daughter’s recital.

I like Gerard Butler and like the vigilante vengeance, but overall, I didn’t like this movie. If only they could re-make it without Foxx.

Richard Zowie loves watching movies. Post comments here or e-mail him at richardzowie@gmail.com.

  1. May 26, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    Very awesome writing. Really..

  2. sean ham
    December 19, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    This isn’t a review. This is you telling us what happens in the movie & then telling us you didn’t like it. I think I’ll stick to “snob critics” thanks.

    • January 1, 2015 at 6:47 pm

      That’s why I said “review”. You do realize that “snob critics” generally have either never worked in the film biz or have been unsuccessful at it?

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