Law Abiding Citizen — Review

This movie was released last fall, but I saw it the other night in a friend’s home.

I liked the movie and to sum it all up, I suggest for you to watch the movie. Be warned though, the movie is not for the faint of heart, the rough stuff is NOT gratuitous it all fits in with the story and the particular situation, but be prepared for crude and definitely adult content.

Spoiler spoiler spoiler ahead. I detail significant amounts of the movie below the fold. No password this time, just this warning. Do not chew me out if you read the rest of this post and blow your enjoyment of the movie.
The movie is one of vengeance gone too far. Clyde is a crime victim losing his wife and daughter in a home invasion. The criminal proceedings see one crook condemned to death and the other getting a light sentence in exchange for his testimony against the other. Clyde is not at all happy.

Flash through the years and we see the prosecuting DA and his sidekick going to the condemned home-invader’s execution that goes very wrong, ending in a painful death for the condemned man. As an investigation kicks off on the botched execution the other home invader meets a very convoluted situation much like the opening scene of the Matrix and winds up paralyzed and then cut into many tiny little pieces.

As it turns out Clyde is behind it all and is pretty open about it. Hurray! The victim lashes out and deals the justice society denied him! Problem is Clyde keeps going and lashes out at the entire system. Defense attorneys, DAs, assistant DAs, judges, mayors, and city governments. In the end Clyde is stopped before he can blow up City Hall with the mayor and all sorts of bigs (CIA, FBI, Homeland Security, The fire chief, police chief, the commissioner of baseball, the chair of the PTA etc) meeting.

The most interesting part of the movie is the character Clyde (the acting is all around great), at the start of the movie and through a goodly portion of it most people will be on his side. How many of us would not be? The guy lost his wife and daughter and one perp is granted a peaceful death and the second one nets a bit of time behind bars and is released to resume his life (which apparently undergoes no changes). We can all sympathize with some vigilante justice, after all vigilante justice is a very common theme in a lot of movies.

The next person to meet his demise via one of Clyde’s schemes is the defending attorney. Defense attorneys are often subject to this role in these movies. Not too many people I am sure are crying over the defense attorney getting whacked, especially considering if Clyde’s terms were met the guy would have lived.

After this though, we cross a line. The line is one’s sympathy for Clyde. Clyde takes his shtick too far, and keeps killing. The way Clyde works and schemes to kill others is very riveting and killings at times surprises. There is one scene you see it coming and it is pretty obvious when it will happen, but the how and the event still manages to startle.

In the end we recognize the main character as obsessive and that destroys him. How many have been destroyed by obsession and how many around that obsession have been caught up in that destruction?

A good movie.

Good Stuff!

1 Comment

  1. Hi Mark,

    And the moral of that story is we better get control of our compulsions before they destroy us! I think we all have had the urge for revenge. There’s a Chinese proverb that I think is appropriate for that: Before beginning the journey of revenge, dig 2 graves. So true! I enjoyed the review and I haven’t seen the movie. No worries though. If I ever get around to seeing the movie, I’ll probably forget what I read anyway! LOL

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