Law Abiding Citizen Review: Citizen Skitz
As a pretty lazy bunch of writers, we were hoping to wheel out phrases like “a real return to form”, but it would have been bending the truth in the same way these film-makers revelled in breaking the laws of rationality.
Breaking the rules is usually fun though, and this film is no exception. The director obviously wasn’t concentrating on character development, but that doesn’t stop this being a fast-paced, action-packed and often exhilarating piece of thrillingly rapid action candy.
Butler plays Clyde Shelton, a man who witnesses the brutal murder of his wife and daughter in an opening scene which finishes before you have time to drop your popcorn. His lawyer (Jamie Foxx) decides to make a deal with one of the murderers in a bid to ensure justice is served on the other, telling a desperate Butler that “some justice is better than no justice at all”.
Ten years later and after a lot of preparation, Clyde embarks on a fury-fuelled quest for revenge against the people and system that wronged him. He may be an absolute nutter, but he has definitely read his Sun Tzu and the city of Philadelphia is powerless to stop this one-man army – even after they lock him away.
The list of plot-holes is extensive: Since when do gun-toting lawyers hang from police helicopters as if Saigon-bound? Where is the FBI during all this carnage? And why the hell does Jamie Foxx use a ruler to shave his head? But it’s easy to forget all that when the plot twists and the director starts firing violence at will.
While Law Abiding Citizen is original in many ways, there are large slices of movies like Se7en, Silence of the Lambs and a handful of others here. You also get the feeling that if the script had been a little better, we would have been watching Denzel Washington instead of Jamie Foxx.
Despite this, it is still fast and sharp enough to deliver a satisfying adrenaline surge.