Law Abiding Citizen DVD review

Carley liked Law Abiding Citizen far more than the last Gerard Butler film she reviewed, but it's still lacking chemistry and sufficient plot hole filler...

It seems no matter where I go at the moment, I always seem to run head on into a gormless grinning Gerard Butler. Now, this isn’t because he walks about my neighbourhood hoping to talk somebody into seeing his latest screen atrocity, The Bounty Hunter, but because his face is all over London’s transport network, advertising said film along with having two recent DVD releases, The Ugly Truth, which I reviewed last month, and his latest offering Law Abiding Citizen, which has just come onto DVD.

A huge step away from his other recent releases, Law Abiding Citizen is an in your face, mile a minute thriller that pits good versus evil in a complex and challenging way.

When Clyde Shelton’s (Butler) family is killed in front of him, he finds himself dissatisfied with the system when District Attorney Nick Rice (Jamie Foxx) makes a deal with one of the murderers, ensuring that, for testifying against his co-conspirator, he is set free early.

Angered that the system has failed him, Clyde waits ten years to plot the perfect revenge, starting with the killers and working his way up to the top of the system.

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Part Law And Order, part Death Wish, Law Abiding Citizen’s main story is more novel than some of the other thrillers out there at the moment, and has some widely entertaining moments, but when you are rooting for the guy who is going around killing people, there is something internally wrong with the way you are portraying the story.

I can see where the scriptwriters wanted to go with the plot. Yes, this man deserves getting his justice, but now Jamie Foxx has to outsmart him and save the day. In reality you wanted Gerard Butler to kick ass all over the place, taking down everybody in the process. After all, he was the wronged party and, no matter how many times you show shots of Foxx’s onscreen family, you still want him to get it, because he made a deal to keep his win rate up.

Forgetting the massive plot holes for a moment, though, Law Abiding Citizen is a decent enough thriller with plenty of great explosions and a pretty neat twist ending that is almost impossible to see coming.

The two leads play well enough off each other, but there isn’t really the sort of chemistry you would hope for. Foxx, in many ways, seems to be phoning in his performance and you almost yearn for him to switch himself on to add a bit of something, while Butler plays the role of a man totally obsessed by grief and out for revenge inwardly, making him slightly creepy and even more dangerous, as you never know what he is going to do next.

The one really big gripe I had with this movie, though, was the murder of the family. What was a robbery took a sinister turn very quickly and there was no real rhyme or reason to it and I felt it was really just shoved into the first five minutes to get it over and done with. Additionally, the ending was wrapped up so quickly I was left with a slightly spinning head!

Although far from the best movie I have seen so far this year, Law Abiding Citizen does what it says on the tin and delivers an engaging enough film to entertain you, and coming in at 108 minutes is the perfect length.

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Extras on the disc mostly comprise of documentaries. For you budding lawyers out there, there’s The Justice Of Law Abiding Citizen, which looks at the legal terms and situations from the movie, a ‘making o’f entitled Law In Black And White, Preliminary Arguments,which takes a look at how the visual effects were made, and a theatrical trailer, all of which are interesting enough, but are not particularly exciting.

The Film:

3 stars
The Disc: Law Abiding Citizen is out now and available from the Den Of Geek Store.


3 out of 5