Scottish actor Gerard Butler is fast making a name for himself as a bit of an action hero. Following on from his role as King Leonidas in the box office smash 300 – which also helped bring him to the attention of the rest of the world – he then went on to appear in the action-adventure family comedy Nim’s Island and the Sci-Fi action thriller Gamer. His latest venture see’s him taking the role of headlining star and producer as he goes head to head with hot-shot lawyer Jamie Foxx.
Butler plays Clyde Shelton a married father of one who loses his wife and daughter at the hands of a pair of vicious murderers. Believing that ‘some justice is better than no justice at all’ lawyer Nick Rice – who will do anything he can to protect his 96% winning streak – decides to only prosecute one of the perpetrators, allowing the other to go free after serving a minimal jail time. However Clyde soon realises that if justice is to be done he must do it himself, and the former government spy goes on a mission to bring down everyone involved and at the top if his list is Nick Rice.
Law Abiding Citizen is an enjoyable and at times laugh-out-loud funny film filled to the brim with action packed sequences and a story that keeps you engaged and entertained. While the film is unlikely to be a contender for Best Picture of the year, it does succeed in delivering an amusing and likeable ride with a host of characters who are appealing; even if the plot is not entirely believable. While the ending does become a tad convenient slash predictable and the conclusion a little farfetched, overall this Crime Drama from the director of The Italian Job is a whole lot of fun and I could think of far worst ways to spend an evening.
Jamie Foxx gives a good performance as Nick Rice but it was hardly a stretch for the BAFTA and Oscar winning actor who has proven to be capable of noteworthy dramatic parts – he could have played the role with his eyes shut. Butler on the other hand never stops being ‘Gerard Butler’ and you can’t help wonder what a Scottish man is doing at the heart of this American drama.
The trailers and advertising surround this film accurately convey the ‘simply story combined with budget blowing effects’, approach to action films and if you keep your expectations in line with this, you won’t be disappointed.
Director: F Gary Gray
Release Date: 28th November 2009
Cast included: Gerard Butler, Jamie Foxx, Viola Davis, Regina Hall and Colm Meaney
Review by Karla Williams