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Movie Review: Law Abiding Citizen

Alternate Title: Revenge is a Dish Best Served Cold

Story: Revenge can be very sweet, highly entertaining and has been an ongoing theme on the big screen for a long time. However, when the film maker loses sight of the reason for the revenge - huge plot holes can open up and a film quickly goes down the toilet. Sadly, director F. Gary Gray (The Italian Job) and writer Kurt Wimmer fall into that rabbit hole.

Engineer and family man, Clyde Shelton's wife and daughter are brutally murdered during a home invasion. After the killers are caught, Philadelphia hot shot, prosecutor Nick Rice, in an effort to keep his conviction rate at 96% makes a deal that allows one of the killers to serve a light sentence and the other goes to death row. This abuse of the judicial system does not sit well with our grieving engineer, now widower.

Fast forward 10 years and the mayhem begins. Admittedly, watching the two murderers get their just rewards (however gruesome) was satisfying. If the film had ended there, it would have been considered a short. So, for another hour we endure the bodies piling up and after awhile my movie buddy and I would just point and snicker at which character was going to be whacked next.

The productions values were fine but sadly, the script was murdered along the way. Unlike their license plates, You do NOT have a friend in Pennsylvania in this bummer film.


Acting: Jamie Foxx, who usually surprises me with his acting, essentially grunted through this film. I do not know what the fuss is all about when it come to Gerard Butler. He does not appeal to me nor did I notice any acting skills in this film at all. Steady screen presences, Bruce McGill, Colm Meaney and Viola Davis all handed in fine performances given what they had to work with.

Trivia: Director F. Gary Gray won Best Video of the Year for Directing the TLC's "Waterfalls" video at the 1995 MTV Music Video Awards. Gerard Butler went to Glasgow University where he studied to be a lawyer/solicitor. He is Scottish, but is of partial Irish ancestry. He has a tiny pug your could fit in your palm named Lolitta he fell in love with while walking by a pet shop.

Predilection: Sometimes gratuitous violence is very entertaining.

Critters: None, thankfully.

Food: A big scene involving a porterhouse steak, pasta and asparagus.

Blatant Product Placement: Apple, Duxiana beds, Pepsi

Soundtrack: Loud, louder and loudest.

Opening Titles: The horrific home invasion which leads to the revenge part of the film comes before the title. All other credits at the end.

Visual Art: The prison scenes were filmed at Broadmeadows prison, which is very much like Eastern States prison and can be visited in Philadelphia. I have been there and it is one cool tour.

Theater Audience: About 10 other people and us. FYI - my movie buddy liked Saw VI. Need I say more?

Weather: It was so cold while filming this movie, I pointed out to my movie buddy that you could see the breaths of the actors even while they were indoors.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: The revenge killings are pretty squirmy.

Drift Factor: I did not drift.

Predictability Level: High

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: No

Big Screen or Rental: Rental would be fine.

Length: 110 minutes