Since Geostorm is coming out, let’s take a look at an underrated Gerard Butler movie, Law Abiding Citizen.
Normally in a regular movie about revenge for the death of your family the “hero” goes after the ones responsible, but due to a plea bargain struck by the judge and lawyers one of the killers goes free, so our protagonist goes after everyone involved (the lawyers, the judges – the whole system!) – that’s what sets apart this movie from other revenge movies. In one scene, Clyde Shelton (Gerard Butler) is about to be set free by said judge and he even ridicules her with how weak and fallible the legal system has become.
He’s here to prove a point, not to be set free.
On the other side of this, you’ve got Jamie Foxx who plays District Attorney Nice Rice. Rice made the deal that basically let the murder of Shelton’s family off with a wrist-slap. The scenes between Foxx and Butler almost plays Hannibal and Clarice in Silence of the Lambs, except Gerard Butler’s character doesn’t like to eat people. He likes to eat 20 oz steaks from Del Frisco’s. The cat and mouse games between these two is on point and both of these actors bring their A-game to this thriller that could’ve been a throwaway for both of them. This shit is chess, it ain’t checkers, son.
The movie definitely doesn’t pull any punches with the gore or the violence and a lot of that had to do with the movie being released when the SAW movies were very popular. Those movies upped the gore quotient and others movies started following suit with the torture porn.
You also gotta give credit to director F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton, Fate of the Furious) who has come a long way from R. Kelly music videos and the cult classic Friday. He likes stories where “good” guys have to do bad things to set things right. It helped that he has worked with heavyweights in his past movies. One could compare Law Abiding Citizen to his third movie, The Negotiator (another movie that deserves a second look). He definitely knows how to create tension and bring out the goods in his actors.
So, kiddies, give Law Abiding Citizen another look, it gets better with age.