Law Abiding Citizen is a film that will not amaze or stun you. It is a film that was made for one simple reason, and it shows. The revenge thriller is made for the audience that sits down with their expensive treats in a crowded cineplex who just want to be entertained for an hour-and-a-half. Luckily, Law Abiding Citizen does that, but just not with the same sense of perfectionism that so-called 'escapist' entertainment like The Dark Knight does.
Clyde Shelton (Gerard Butler) is a man who is broken by the murder of his wife and daughter. The justice system fails him by not handing down justice of the highest extent down on the criminals who took Clyde's life and shattered it. This sends him on a very simple mission. He is a vigilante doling out justice to those criminals who deserve to be punished for their sins. His reasoning is that "everyone must be accountable for their actions", but Clyde doesn't think his sins should catch up with him. It is Nick Rice's (Jamie Foxx) job to bring Shelton to justice, and so begins a tumultuous game of cat-and-mouse between the two.
The performances hold the film together. Gerard Butler is a serious rising star in Tinseltown as of late, and after P.S. I Love You and The Ugly Truth, taking this darker, villainous role gave him a chance to show his range as a serious actor. Jamie Foxx, who, in this Examiner's opinion hasn't had a truly good role since his 2004 double-threat including Ray and Collateral, shows the acting chops still remain, if only he can get a half-decent script thrown his way. The chemistry between the two leads is dynamite, and keeps this film afloat.
Law Abiding Citizen is an average film that could have been truly great. With a promising premise, great leads, and a director (F. Gary Gray) who has proven he is capable of good films within the action-thriller genre, this is a disappointment of sorts in my books. If you enjoy the leads, rent the DVD and watch it on a rainy Sunday. However, go in with lower expectations than I had, and you may enjoy it more than I did.