Law Abiding Citizen is one of those movies that is a great bundle of fun, but you have to preface it with â€œnow all of this is completely ridiculous, but watch it, its fun!â€
In a movie of any genre really, there are ridiculous events and circumstances which rely on the viewer having a reasonable suspension of disbelief in order to enjoy the ride. The responsibility is on the writer and/or director to create such a plausible world to immerse the viewer in â€“ that any time something completely unrealistic happens, it would seem natural in this world, and thus â€“ suspension of disbelief is achieved.
This is more than a vengeance film. This is a â€˜if it takes me ten years to think of how to get revenge on you, by GOD thatâ€™s what Iâ€™m gonna do!â€™. Ten years, it takes Clyde Shelton to perfect a brutal, vicious rampage on not just the killers of his wife and daughter, but anyone, heck even the valet that had any involvement with court trial. The kicker? The biggest stretch of the imagination is that like Michael Scofield (Prison Break for those unblissfully ignorant) he perpetrates the crimes with full willingness to be taken to jail. Oh, only because he will carry on the crimes from behind bars!
I see you rolling your eyes, I know. But it plays out so.. comically, and you can see Gerard Butler relishes every moment of it. Heâ€™s deliciously evil. Youâ€™re not meant to have sympathy for him at this point. This brand of vengeance is something else.
Jamie Foxx as DA Nick Rice should have more to do, and more to offer. While he has the right amount of swagger for the role â€“ the chemistry between he and Butler just isnâ€™t quite right. There is no real tension there, and so its hard to really be entertained by the confrontational talks they have as Clyde unravels his plans.
To be brutally honest (pardon the impending pun) is that the kills are creatively gory, and swift. Its the moments in the film where you turn to your friend and say, watch this.. watch this, squealing and gasping at the blood splatter, the horrific squelching sounds from a stabbing, or unexpected (and creative) bomb explosions. This movie would fall into the so bad that its good category â€“ such as Snakes on a Plane. SO bad that its a fun â€˜watch with friendsâ€™ movie!