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Law Abiding Citizen Entertains

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We generally turn to movies for one of three things: entertainment, education, or enlightenment. The Oscar films usually toe the divide between entertainment and enlightenment, biopics offer a spoonful of education, and the summer blockbusters are pure entertainment. The film in question, Law Abiding Citizen, is pure entertainment too, nothing more, nothing less. You won’t learn anything or have to consider any new concepts … it’s just a pure “July” style of film placed smack dab in the middle of October.

To talk about the plot of Law Abiding Citizen, even a little bit, is pretty much to get into spoilers. So, beware!

Gerard Butler is a husband and father. He’s brutally attacked at his home by a couple of goons, and his wife and daughter are murdered. Jamie Foxx  is the assistant district attorney charged with seeking justice. He cuts a deal with one of the murderers (technically, the less guilty one), much to the chagrin of Butler. Gerard wants everyone involved to face punishment, but Foxx tells him some justice is better than none. You can imagine how well Butler receives this line. Ten years pass (time enough for Butler to scheme) and we’re off!

Where Law Abiding Citizen thrives is with the leads. Foxx is a slightly unlikable “hero” while Gerard Butler is a slightly empathetic crazy person. Who you pull for depends on the scene; you vacillate between cheering on Butler’s psychotic reign of terror and worrying about Foxx’s general safety. The film also moves along nicely, and Butler’s know-it-all persona is a gas to watch.

I’d say Law Abiding Citizen is a worthwhile ticket buy. It has the feel of a film that’s on cable during a rainy Sunday that you wouldn’t pass by with the remote. The leads are dynamic, the story is relatively unpredictable, and the film has strong dialogue and action throughout. Sure, it’s outta place for October, but there’s no reason you can’t enjoy a mindless piece of candy against the backdrop of fall foliage.

October 19, 2009 - Posted by | movies | , , , , , , , , , , ,

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