Law Abiding Citizen | Screen | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Law Abiding Citizen

It may have been a crime to make this lame thriller

If you feel justice has not been properly served after your family was brutally murdered, you should: (1) buy lots of property in Central America; (2) kill a guy during his state-ordered execution, but harder; (3) go to jail yourself, but make ridiculous demands such as access to a fancy mattress; (4) commit a bunch more twisted murders, but from behind bars; or (5) hold the entire city of Philadelphia hostage. If you answered "yes" to any (or all) of these suggestions, you may already be starring in F. Gary Gray's idiotic crime thriller. This reputed cat-and-mouse action drama between the aggrieved victim (Gerard Butler) and the prosecutor who failed him (Jamie Foxx) wants to be a morality play about our flawed justice system that asks whether going outside the law is ever a solution. But alas, it is a poorly plotted, dreadfully paced mess -- just another round of torture porn, but wearing a better suit. The film is also a serious credibility setback for Butler and Foxx, a pair of actors capable of more than getting blood-splattered. Avoid, unless you've been pining for a lazy mash-up of Saw, Silence of the Lambs, and Law and Order.

The 2024 Olympickle Games
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The 2024 Olympickle Games

By Mars Johnson