One of the most popular styles of film has been, and will always be, the revenge movie. When these films are done right, they can elicit an emotional response from the audience that few films can match. There have been countless movies made on the subject to date. The most widely acknowledged film in the revenge sub genre of action films would have to be the 1974 film, Death Wish. The film starred movie tough guy Charles Bronson (not to confused with the Charles Bronson of Nicolas Winding Refn’s new film) as a man who seeks revenge for the murder of his wife and assault of his young daughter.
In the past couple years there have been many revenge movies released such as Tarantino’s Kill Bill, The Brave One starring Jodie Foster, and Death Sentence with Kevin Bacon (this film was based on the follow up novel to “Death Wish”). The revenge movie however has become a cliché, so when I heard about director F. Gary Gray’s new film Law Abiding Citizen, I was less than enthused about the film. That was my reaction prior to seeing the film’s trailer, now I am eagerly awaiting Citizen’s release.
Law Abiding Citizen tells the story of Clyde Shelton, played by Gerard Butler (300) whose wife and daughter are killed by two men after their home was broken into. After the men are captured, one is put on death row while the other makes a deal with the District attorney’s office, to avoid the charges. Shelton can’t fathom that the men responsible are getting off so easy, and seeks revenge not only on his family’s killers, but also on the entire justice system that let this occur. Clyde is captured soon, but the DA who got the killers off, Nick Rice (Jamie Foxx, Ray), comes to realize that prison isn’t going to stop Shelton from getting his revenge on those responsible. Nick is the only one who can stop Clyde before he kills again.
The film is directed by F. Gary Gray, who hasn’t directed since 2005’s Be Cool, but he looks to be coming back in fine form with Citizen. The cast for this one includes Butler and Foxx as I already mentioned, but the supporting players include Regina Hall (Scary Movie), Colm Meaney (Intermission), Leslie Bibb (Iron Man) and Michael Gambon (the Harry Potter films).
Law looks to be a very tense action thriller that will please fans of smart action films. The cast is great and the twist for the film, I can tell will be a doozy. In the film’s trailer it’s revealed that Butler’s character is not the ordinary man he appears to be, but a Jason Bourne type government agent. This plot point alone, as well as the thought of one man righting the wrongs of our legal system is all I need to know. I’m in. I can only hope I’m not disappointed with the execution, as everything else looks to be on the right track.
Law Abiding Citizen opens October 16th