DVD movie reviews, Law Abiding Citizen on DVD - Movie Review

Law Abiding Citizen on DVD – Movie Review

Finally found time to watch Law Abiding Citizen that came on out DVD this Tuesday, 02-16-10. Now, before I rented this from a Redbox machine, I tried getting a copy from my local library and in the process of checking out the movie on the library website I read their version of this movies violence level and it said something to the effect that it has extreme violence, a brutal rape scene and something more long those lines. This made me hesitate about renting this movie since truthfully I’m not in to movies like SAW that are all about violence for violence sake. Luckily I didn’t let that mis-leading statement hold me back from renting this movie because, trust me folks, there are WAY more violent movies out there this day and age and this movie  hits a violence scale of maybe a 6 out of 10.  After seeing The Last House on the Left, my scale for violence has shifted dramatically and it’ll be while before a rape scene can traumatized me as much as that one scene in the Last House.

*minor spoilers that shouldn’t ruin the movie for you because, really, if you don’t figure it out when the movies rolling than I can’t help you* 

What I did like about this movie was that it wasn’t as predictable as I find a number of movies today. When Clive, Gerald Butler’s character, kills his inmate, sure, you can see it was gong to happen but it stumped me as to why he did it. What was the reason behind his killing the inmate? Was the guy part of the attack on Clives’ family? Was he another killer that got a lenient sentence? And if the goal was to get Clive locked up in solitary – again – why? What could he do from there? The movie did make me think and I like movies that can do that. 

Arrest scene from Law Abiding Citizen
Aww, they made him put his pants back on.

I had a bit of hard time concentrating  since – and don’t hate me for this but I only just figured it out – I’m not that big a fan of Gerald Butler as an actor. I actually had him confused with the actor that played Denny Duquette on Grey’s Anatomy – Jeffery Dean Morgan  – and was sightly disappointed when it wasn’t him. Although, when Gerald strips down in the movie, I did take a moment or two to appreciate that he has a rather finely muscled body. Another thing that threw me out of the movie was what the hell is up with Jamie Foxx’s lips in this movie? I know he has a goat tee there but for some reason it made his mouth so dark it was distracting. Jamie’s usually a decent looking guy but there were moments in the movie,  and I’m going to blame them maybe on the lighting,  were he just looked off. 

Jamie Foxx - Law Abiding Citizen
Perfect example of how the lighting made Jamie Foxx's lips too dark and unflattering

I think  what was missing from this movie , and I figured it out since I kept comparing it a lot to Last House on the Left, that it didn’t do the prep work for making the viewers care about the characters. There wasn’t a build up to the destruction of the family. It was a wham, bam and your dead ma’am attack. We didn’t have the time to actually feel for the characters or to feel for Clive’s loss so that when he starts his crusade, we weren’t with him on his motivation. Yea, I know, “What’s my motivation?” is cheesy but it’s what really helps a movie stand out. 

I do have to say that as the movie progresses you do get a better idea of Clive’s motivation and the fact that it’s not a hit you over the head reason makes more of an impact later on with the movie. Mainly, the unpredictability is what makes this movie not fall into the ‘I just wasted two hours of my life’ category. 

Plus, I did have a couple of  ‘peeking through my fingers’ moments so it did work on the suspense level. And the violence is definitely upped near the end. I will say, for getting vengeance, Clive was masterful and creative in his methods. I even squeaked at the cell phone moment. 

For those of us that have felt shorthanded by the justice system, this movie does appeal to our feelings of  ‘helplessness’  when dealing with the courts and that feeling of ‘ it’s just not enough punishment for what that criminal did to you’. Ultimately I really liked what Clive’s true message  was that had him destroying most of Philly’s legal department to get across. And in the end, Jamie Foxx’s character, Nick Rice, finally did learn what Clive’s’ lesson was all about. 

So if you’re looking for a movie with enough twists to keep you guessing mingled with some rather impressive spillage of blood as well as a true message to get across, Law Abiding Citizen just might meet those requirements for you. And now, a side by side comparison of Gerald Butler to Jeffrey Dean Morgan just so you don’t think I’m way off getting those two actors mixed up from a distance: 

Gerald Butler
Jeffrey Dean Morgan
Jeffrey Dean Morgan - okay, can you see the resemblance between these two?

You can pick up your own copy of Law Abiding Citizen and Last House of the Left by clicking on the Amazon.com Images below: 



2 thoughts on “Law Abiding Citizen on DVD – Movie Review”

  1. Thanks for the prep for this movie. I wasn’t sure whether to continue watching it. I don’t like torture or gorey films either. I watched the first 20 minutes or so. A violent rape seen is a huge exagertion. I think it was done as tasteful as one could portray that terrible matter. We see just enough to know what’s happening.
    Although I have to say I love gerard butler! Lol. I don’t see any resemelance between. Gerard and the other actors you mentioned.
    Anyhoo thanks for giving me a reason to watch the rest:)

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