Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Law Abiding Citizen

Before the Super Bowl, I watched "Law Abiding Citizen" with Jamie Foxx and Gerard Butler.  This post will not be a spoiler, although I will go into more detail with a comment after the post that will be.  Basically, the movie was a psychological action thriller based on revenge.  The main character felt wronged by the justice system, and throughout the movie, the watcher is left wondering whether his mission from then on was to exact revenge or to prove a point.

Throughout the movie, I was on the edge of my seat trying to determine what would happen next as well as Gerard Butler's character's motivation.  The acting was superb, and the character development was very good as well.  However, despite all this, I can't say that I liked the movie.  Without going into detail here, I found the main character's decision at the end of the film nullified what could have been an amazing movie with a terrific ending to an otherwise suspenseful plot.  Before the final action in the movie occurred, I thought to myself, "If he does action A, I will definitely be recommending this movie, but if he does action B, I'm going to be more disappointed than a kid who opens up his Christmas present to find socks."  Then, bam...action B.

At that point, it felt like the writer and director had derailed the plot and the build-up to a crescendo of an ending.  It was kind of like waiting in line for a really cool ride at Disney only to find out that it breaks down just before you get through the turnstile.  At least it wasn't as bad as my memory of Mickey flipping me off when I was down there (a scarring event in the life of FSG to say the least).


1 comment:

  1. The decision I am referring to above is obviously Clyde's decision to either detonate the bomb at the end or not. If it had ended with him telling Jamie Foxx that his goal of teaching the detective not to make deals with murderers was complete, and he would cease his rampage and not activate the explosives, I would have been much happier. That way, his killing of innocent people (while still not justified) would not be for the sake of killing...It would be for the sake of exposing a corrupt and flawed justice system. Deciding to not detonate would have added meaning to the movie.

    However, when I think deeper, I remember that Clyde knew the authority's every movement down to the smallest detail. Could it be that he knew that his bomb had been replaced, and after teaching the detective the lesson, he followed his own advice about having to be held accountable for his wrongdoing? If he knew that the bomb was in his room before detonating, I would like the movie again. From this point forward, I am going to operate on that assumption.

    This was a pretty fantastic movie, and I would suggest seeing it based on the above realization. Unfortunately, if you're reading this now, I have ruined the ending for you.