Last night I travelled to Sydney to watch the action, thriller Law abiding citizen. Not expecting much from the film apart from a few good Gerard Butler action sequences, the film surpised as it starts with a bang and dives straight into the story. Truly the first 3 minutes will have you gritting your teeth with anger as Gerard Butler’s Clyde watches his wife and Daughter get brutally murdered. What follows is teeth grinding scenes of ineptitude as Jamie Foxx’s arrogant , ambitious lawyer Nick pleads out the case and one of the killers go free. Obviously we see a distraught Gerard Butler and the film dissolves,
10 years later we return to the story as Jamie Foxx’s Nick has gone onto to bigger things. Living the great life with his wife and ten year old daughter. We also see Gerard Butler’s character Clyde has returned for down and dirty vengeance.. This is when al hell breaks loose as Clyde unleashes his well laid plans for retribution sending the city into a frenzy. This is an incredibly fun film to watch as it takes on a Taken feel to it. Butler really is a damn good action star and also shows his trademark intensity in a lot of scenes. He holds the screen so well as he charms and scares you at the same time. Jamie Foxx just plays to type as the arrogant, suave lawyer who needs to be taught a lesson. The funny thing is, even though Foxx’s character is meant to be a good guy who made a mistake, he never shows enough depth for us to care about him. He is the man who doesn’t change enough and eventually we are far from remotely liking him. You begin to hope for the moment when Clyde will go medieval on his ass.
Helmed by The Italian Job and Negotiator director F Gary Gray, the film is gritty and well executed with many scenes that will have you jump in your seat. The story holds you tightly as you start to cheer for Clyde as he destroys the city of Philadelphia to make a point. You want this man to dish out the pain and Gray does well in bringing you in on his war. You also like every character brought on screen especially with one of the greatest character actors of all time-Bruce McGill. You like them all but unfortunately you still don’t like Foxx enough. Gray also creates an old school action film that doesn’t have to have the biggest explosion just the most precise. That is what this is. A high strung battle of wits that gets you excited to be watching the film. It builds you up so high as you start dropping ohhh’s and whoas in all the crazy ways Clyde deals death from his prison cell. You also start to flex your movie film muscle by whispering possible endings and trying to stay ahead of the brilliant sociopath Clyde, I actually turned to Biggeoff and whispered how much I was loving this film. Then the other shoe falls………..
We then start to see the film fray at the edges as it immediately and strangely tries to turn the tables. You begin to feel the pressure from an outside entity (Studio or leading actor?) as the film suddenly changes the tables and we are meant to cheer for Foxx’s character. Sorry that doesn’t work and not enough work was out in beforehand to change us. I am going to add a SPOILER ALERT here just because you’ll be able to guess the ending from what I write. The film is great until the end. It seems that they went in one direction and then were forced to steer it in another. Jamie Foxx is suddenly smarter even though he is been duped the whole film. Even the mysterious introduction of a character named Chester makes no sense unless it was meant for a different ending. The whole film ends wrong and upsets me so damn much. This is one of the most disappointing films I have watched this year. Not because the film was crap but because it was so damn good except for the bullsh*t ending. The final scene even cut offs without a good enough resolve. All I can say is that the ending was just not good enough for the film that preceded it. It’s like picking up the hottest girl in the club , taking her home and finding out she’s a dude.
I was actually looking at Biggeoff cursing "this film better not end there" But it did and so did my all my hope for it. You see I was watching the film thinking of all of these glowing comments I was going to say in the review and then it ended. Glowing comments are now gone. I am betting there was another ending to this film that had "Chester" more involved. Also an ending where Clyde got the last laugh or even a passing farewell. Not the rushed one I saw. It’s unfortunate but I can’t let it get to me as it did all the way home yesterday. Poor Biggeoff had to hear me ramble and ramble. Very disappointing. But I still want you to watch it and make your own mind up. I actually want you to see it. Tell me if you agree with me or think I am just a re-tard. Also Gerard Butler is The Highlander. That is all my friends