“ Genre: Crime & Thriller / Suitable for 18 years and over / Director: F. Gary Gray / Actors: Gerard Butler, Jamie Foxx, Leslie Bibb, Colm Meaney, Bruce McGill ... / Blu-ray released 2010-04-12 at Momentum Pictures / Features of the Blu-ray: Anamorphic, PAL „
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Law Abiding Citizen is a story about a family man whose life is torn apart by intruders who kill his wife and daughter and leave him for dead. He is pushed over the edge when a cocky young lawyer makes a plea bargain against his wishes allowing one killer to escape with a light sentence in return for testifying against his accomplice. Ten years later the man's vengeance is realised in a series of extraordinary events that leave the lawyer racing against the clock to find out who is behind the carnage.
This could be seen as a tale of good versus bad which is a story as old as time itself or it could be a more serious piece of cinema that looks at the criminal justice system and exposes it's flaws. What makes this a good film is the fact that an angry man seemingly kills a lot of people and blows stuff up and that is the best way to approach it. Everything is dealt with at a good pace with plenty of action and the characters are strong. The complexity of the thread is at odds with what is essentially a very simple story and that is why I think this film works so well.
Gerard Butler (who I like) is great as Clyde Shelton and brings a menacing intensity to the role of the grieving husband and father. Jamie Foxx (undecided about him) plays an equally good counterpart as the ego led lawyer and the two have some genuine chemistry. Butler's accent slips occasionally and there are some laughably stereotyped supporting characters in the mix but the cast is pretty cohesive.
Everything looks fantastic in high definition with some dark moody sets and some truly vibrant colours in the open. The panning heli-cam looks great and the explosions are glorious. I think this is a case of the bigger the screen you have the better. You don't need the effect to draw you in but everything just looks so much better and you really have a great anti-hero in Shelton.
I was a little annoyed that my disc had some slight issue with lip synch at places. Although only a fraction out it is disappointing to see in a finished product. Most probably this is not a widespread problem.
The film is rated 18 as there is a considerable amount of violence and some of the scenes may be disturbing to some people. I think this relevant, in context and not overly gratuitous. Some may disagree however. It's an unpleasant subject but the end result is enjoyable.
Gerard Butler as Clyde Shelton
Jamie Foxx as Nick Rice
Bruce McGill as Jonas Cantrell
Colm Meaney as Detective Dunnigan
Viola Davis as the Mayor of Philadelphia
Regina Hall as Kelly Rice
Leslie Bibb as Sarah Lowell
Michael Irby as Detective Garza
Gregory Itzin as Warden Inger
Annie Corley as Judge Laura Burch
Michael Kelly as CIA Operative Bray
Roger Bart as Brian Bringham
Christian Stolte as Clarence J. Darby
Richard Portnow as Bill Reynolds
Josh Stewart as Rupert Ames
Law in black and white - Behind the scenes / The justice of the law abiding citizen
Preliminary arguments - Visual effects / Trailers
Clever and explosive, Law Abiding Citizen is an action movie to make you wince, jump and then clap. Great fun.