DVD Review: Law Abiding Citizen

Law Abiding Citizen DVD Review: Law Abiding Citizen

Law Abiding Citizen is a wild mash up of SAW and Death Wish, though not as good as either one. Starring Gerald Butler (of 300 and many lame romantic comedies) and Jamie Foxx (who sleep-walks through his role), the movie starts out entertaining enough but starts to lose it and by the end goes off the tracks completely.

Butler plays a family man named Clyde Shelton whose wife and young daughter are brutally raped and murdered before his eyes. An up-and coming district attorney named Nick (Jamie Foxx) cuts a deal with the defense which sends one of the suspects to death row while the other gets off with an extremely low (almost laughable) sentence. After 10 years (revenge is best served after a decade), Clyde rigs the lethal injection machine for one suspect and tortures and murders the other in an elaborate scene straight out of SAW. Butler’s character is underwritten, initially sympathetic (for 15 minutes or so) he goes off the rails and becomes a torture porn genius and electronics expert. From his jail cell, Butler smirks and demands comfortable mattresses and steaks with fancy sauce while gleefully orchestrating the deaths of innocent people all over the place.

The DVD looks and sounds terrific and a few short featurettes are certainly worth watching and full of fun facts. The city of Philadelphia is well-shot by director F Gary Gray and there is some tension along the way, but ultimately, Law Abiding Citizen is just too goofy to fully embrace. Law Abiding Citizen has a pretty good first half, but it falls apart. Fans of right-wing revenge fantasies are better off with Death Wish, while fans of horror torture porn flicks can stick with their SAW movies.

Grade: C+

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