Friday, June 18, 2010
Law Abiding Citizen. D+
I think Gerard Butler is my least favorite actor working today. The guy has exhibited some talent in the past, but in the last few years I've seen no actor with such an awful array of movies released. He has gone from being a sort of likable, suave leading man to a smirking, growling a-hole who's movies are sickeningly bad. I think seeing Law Abiding Citizen has influenced this opinion of mine. In the movie he plays a father who's wife and daughter are brutally murdered. When the killers are caught, one of them is put on death row while the other is set free for lack of evidence. The father, who saw the murders, is outraged and sets out to make it known how much he despises the justice system. Not only is his plan sickening and offensive, but it's highly illogical. It takes him ten years to work out his scheme after the killer is set free, but even with all that time, I find it hard to believe that it would come through as seamlessly as it does. The other major character is a prosecutor, played by Jamie Foxx. His character is pretty by-the-book, as nearly everything he does is telegraphed. I started hating Law Abiding Citizen when the cell phone blows up. If you've seen the move, you'll know what I'm referencing. At that point, Butler's character truly becomes ugly, unforgiving, and sadistic. I have no idea what sort of point the screenwriter Kurt Wimmer was trying to make by his insane, shocking actions. He introduces us to a character we feel sympathize with. But what does he want us to feel when he starts his killing spree? The movie seems to be taking itself seriously, but by the end it only comes across as inane. Admittedly the film moves along at a nice pace and there is suspense in the story. But I hated this movie because of Butler's character and the terrible things he does. One might ask why I dismiss this movie when I liked David Fincher's Seven so much. Because Seven (which of course had more intelligence and stronger performances) was believable and it didn't try to make sense out of the killer's actions. Law Abiding Citizen tries to explain Butler's motives, yet when someone is as sick as that character is, all we care about is him getting killed.