Critic Review - New York Times

It's about the cat-and-mouse game between two very smart guys, and it's perfectly happy to be as dumb as it wants.

October 16, 2009 | Comment (1)
New York Times
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Comments

Katalin B.

Katalin Baranji

The plot very simple: the ultimate revenge.
If your wife and daughter were murdered than every decent husband seeks revenge. The revenge should be delivered by the law. Since we are leaving in a society, and we signed a %u2018social contract%u201D than we agree that we transfer the judgment to that society.
This movie%u2019s conflict was very real: the bargain between the prosecutor and one of the perpetrators. One of them will get mild punishment if he gives a testimony against the other. This is a classical case if you do not have enough or usable evidence and the prosecutor wants to succeed, like in this movie, to make his conviction record more perfect.
This movie contains a lot of fictional element, but it is just the surface. You have to scratch it to find the real meaning: the law system does not provide punishment to the guilty; it has its intrinsic flaws. These flaws can be objective (the letter of law itself) and subjective (the character of the prosecutors, lawyers, judges etc.).
One of the movie main characters (Gerard Butler) is the %u2018law abiding citizen%u201D who has the intellectual and financial means to plan and execute an almost perfect revenge, which could pull down the whole justice system. The scope of revenge is not decided from the beginning: it can be stopped after the murderers die horrible death. But the prosecutor (Jamie Foxx) cannot let it go, he wants to follow the letter of the law, cannot let the killer go free, at least not in this case.
This movie contains a lot of fantasy like elements: it is extraordinary in the means of revenge (but who wants to watch a mediocre story?). The performance of the actors are so excellent, they make this unbelievable story reality.
I recommend watching this movie for everybody, who thinks the society is out of control: it cannot punish the guilty or keep the constitution. Do not be discouraged by bad critics.

Oct 25 - 05:07 PM

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