Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Law Abiding Citizen

Well, if one has any issues with the justice department, this could be the movie for you. The justice system has some issues but I am not sure blowing people was the answer. I could understand going after the defendant, perhaps his lawyer, but killing anyone else is wrong and evil. Nevertheless, this was a clever movie and it does cause one to reflect. Can we do better? Perhaps John Grishman would like to chime in. He has made a career off law centered stories, I am reading The Partner right now. This movie takes his typical storyline a bit further. This movie does not revolve around the justice system, the justice system is in the crosshairs.

Jamie Foxx has returned but he is not the high flying, exciting, larger than life individual we know him to be. He has brought back his humble, Collateral, taxi driver character. Here is a prosecutor called Nick Rice before he becomes the district attorney. But this happens sooner than it normally would because of Clyde Shelton. Clyde is played by the stellar Gerard Butler.

The movie opens glamorizing the happy family life that Clyde has. This ends dramatically when he is answers the door without checking who it is. He is met with a baseball bat to the head, and he soon watches as two robbers and killers eliminate his daughter and wife. This is alluded to, it is not really shown. Which is fine. One the culprits seems to have been duped into this heist. The leader, is true scum and it is his idea alone to committ murder to the 2nd power. The younger kid is given the death penalty but the homicidal maniac who is really the threat to society cuts a deal and is only sentenced to a few years in prison.

Ten years passes. Now Nick has a daughter of similar age along with his lovely wife who we were introduced too in the outset of the movie.

Christian Stolte plays the sinister Clarence Darby who I have already described. Darby is sitting in his apartment when he is maniupulated by Clyde. Clyde calls the police on him but then warns Darby by calling his phone while using a device to alter his voice. He gets Darby to kidnap an unsuspecting police officer who is Clyde in disguise. Genius. Now Darby is out of sight and mind while Clyde removes his police costume. Darby has a weapon but that weapon is harmless. It must have been the night before, Clyde somehow snuck into Darby's home and smeared a poisonous fish's juices on the hand grip of the Darby's hand gun. Out in the field, adjacent to an industrial wearhouse that Clyde own's. This is where Clyde goes to work. Darby is alive and has feelings but that is it. His muscles have been incapacitated because the poison and inside the wearhouse Darby is strapped down onto some sort of chair. This is well thought out, Clyde films it but he is covered up so there is not any actual proof that he committed this crime. I would say heinous and sick crime but Darby did kill off the females that Clyde loved. So, Darby will not be missed by anyone that matters.

Clyde, a few hours later, perhaps the next day, turns himself in by calling the police and informing them where he is located. Why he strips down is beyond me. Nick is a high flyer in Philadelphia circles and is the manager in the District Attorney's (DA) office. His ambition is anything but transparent. Career actor, all the way from the cool action movie The Last Boyscout is Bruce McGill who plays Jonas Cantrell. He is the DA but Clyde seems to be the motivator and true leader in the office. Jonas does have some contacts and pulls some strings which result in a revelation on who Clyde is. Clyde is a tinkerer, he has several patents on some of the applications he has designed. This movie did not explain really why Darby could not be prosecuted for first degree murder and they do the same thing here. Jonas and Nick, with Jonas at the helm, escape the office and meet a clandestine fellow. He could work in some Pentagon think tank or perhaps the CIA. I am not sure. He does seem to want to hide his indentification and his current whereabouts. This clandestine fellow tells Nick and Jonas that Clyde is a genious, he can kill people without being near them, he can manipulate machines and devices with pure deftness. His problem solving skills seem akin to Prison Break's Scofield.

Clyde goes onto kill the liberal judge after he already insulted her in her presence. That latter scene was humorous. Clyde attacked her for being a sucker, soft hearted liberal who is too quick to prone to releasing dangerous creatures. But he wants to return to prison and he kills his cellmate. This is after he has the prison bring him a steak and full scrumptious dinner. The prisoners are in hysterics inside their cells since it seems one prisoner is receiving lavish treatment.

Clyde wanted to be sent to solitary confinement since in the ten years he had to plan this devious scheme, he dug a full size tunnel which storms right underneath the cells in solitary confinement. The tunnel leads to an industrial wherehouse that he bought after he liquidated his holdings and savings. His holdings from a company he owned that represented the products he invented.

The only cute face in this movie that I think of is Leslie Bibb. Bibb is cute but she is not a J-Ray. There was too many men in this movie. This movie could have easily kept its intensity and plotline intact with a stunning figure such as J-Ray.

She is a laywer named Sarah Lowell who ends up working for Clyde after he replaces his former jealous manager. Clyde all but told him he would take his spot, it was only a matter of time. This was in the beginning. Leslie, along with several other prosecutors are blown up by car bombs in the parking lot of their office. Jonas is killed as these people leave the funeral of these prosecutors. Who is doing this? Does Clyde have help? Well I already told you Clyde can go and come from his solitary confinement as he pleases. He has an escape route underneath any confinement space. Nick and Detective Dunnigan played by Colm Meaney from Con Air locate this route. It is an illegal search but by this point, red tape needs to be cut through.

Clyde has either bought or built a robitic weapon. I saw this on Future Weapons on Discovery Channel about 2 years ago. This robot is on tracks, about 3 feet square, has multiple sets of cameras mounted on it and in this case, it has a 50' caliber firing system and a grenade launcher. Clyde attacks the SUV that Jonas is in and destroys it.

At this point, the mayor calls in Homeland Security, the FBI, and perhaps the military. Another name for martial law is declared. Philadelphia is in a steel pinch. Clyde has already told Nick he is going to destroy the system. He is upset that Nick would not prosecute Darby. Atleast try, if they lost they lost. Do their best. Nick told Clyde they would lose the case because of insufficient proof. This was ofcourse ten years ago

When Jonas and Nick met with this shadowy figure one evening, he told them the only chance they have at ending this nightmare is to walk into Clyde's lonely cell and put a bullet into his head. Well, before Clyde was about to blow up the meeting with the mayor, Homeland Security, etc., Nick did the only rationable thing. Before he was about to resign after Jonas was taken out at the cemetary, he became acting DA. His hand placed on the bible as he tool the oath in front of the mayor. Nick takes the law into his own hands, with the help of Dunnigan I believe, Nick confronts Clyde inside his cell. Clyde knows his escape route has been compromised. He is also startled, which is a first. Nick knows what Clyde has been doing and how he has been running back and forth, shaking the system up literally. Nick walks away after he lights the cell on fire. Nick accepts his ending, knowing he did make his mark. He may not have changed anything, but unlike Timothy McVeigh, atleast Clyde's feelings were understood. His pain was reasonable. The source known.

This movie has some steller scenes. Its point is made. The mainstream media does not like this film since they attack liberal judges. I loved it. It is about time. This stuff has been going on for sometime. Clyde lost his family when he had his guard down, his guard was never down after that. Our justice system is flawed but still one of the best in the world. Regardless, improvements could be made.

I allocate this movie four stars.****

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