I don’t usually watch revenge-based films – they tend to get a bit icky, for example ‘Day of the Woman’ (aka ‘I Spit on Your Grave’).
As such I was a bit unsure about a film centred on someone taking on the people who murdered his family and also settling a score with a justice system that failed to really seek justice but instead seemed to opt for a quick win.
It helps that Gerard Butler was a tolerable Dracula in ‘Dracula 2000’ and was rather effective a dispatching people in ‘Olympus Has Fallen’. Jamie Foxx’s presence was a cause for concern – I’ve seen ‘Stealth’…
In terms of ick; the starting scene features murder and implied rape – in order to setup the need for revenge. Later there is a torture scene but most of it is off camera – then described later, there is also an inventive stabbing musically accompanied by an early Deftones’ track.
Butler is concurringly believable as a result-focused individual with the knowledge and means to exact revenge. Jamie Foxx was good enough that I almost blocked out how bad ‘Stealth’ was. The dynamic between the two of them does mean that the rest of the cast were pushed into the background.
(Still from ‘Law Abiding Citizen’)
This is a strength up until the very final section of the film, at which point it rather feels that someone wanted to get a happy ending at any cost. Although I suppose it would be irresponsible to let someone get away scot-free with literal murder.
It isn’t a bad film, although having watched it twice I don’t think I would bother watching it again – well maybe the bit with a weaponised bomb disposal robot…
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