16 May 2012

1 April - "That wasn't one of my first instincts "

Law Abiding Citizen (2009)
dir. F. Gary Gray

Jamie Foxx - Toys (1992)
Garard Butler - The Ugly Truth (2009)
Colm Meaney - The Commitments (1991)
Bruce McGill - Elizabethtown (2005)
Leslie Bibb - Iron Man 2 (2010)
Michael Irby - Flightplan (2005)
Gregory Itzin - Adaptation. (2002)
Regina Hall - Danika (2006)
Christian Stolte - Stranger Than Fiction (2006)
Annie Corley - The Cider House Rules (1999)
Richard Portnow - Kindergarten Cop (1990)
Viola Davis - The Help (2011)
Michael Kelly - Did You Hear About the Morgans? (2009)
Dan Bittner - Adventureland (2009)
Brooke Stacy Mills - Hairspray (1988)
Brian Anthony Wilson - The Happening (2008)

I didn't like this movie at all. I don't even have anything good to say about it. It's about a guy who's wife and daughter are murdered, but through legal whateverness one of the guys who did it gets a light sentence because he cooperated with the rest of the investigation. The Gerard Butler character is so pissed off that he goes totally batshit crazy and orchestrates a complicated scheme to get back at the justice system. What I particularly dislike about this movie is not even the ambiguous morality, its the lack of a clear division between anti-hero and antagonist. My friend Cora clearly was in the anti-hero camp. She said that the point of the movie was to figure out how Gerard Butler was achieving these heinous murder-plots. I thought that was horrible to watch because most of the people that Butler's character killed were only tangentially related to the incident which pissed him off so much in the first place. He wasn't fighting for anything, and that made him a bad protagonist to root for. On the other hand, he makes a fatal error in the end and blows up, making Jamie Foxx the "winner" of the story and Butler the "loser." But even in that perspective I don't think any clear statement about the evils of either the justice system or the evils of vigilantism was made. And the grrrwehatecorruptlawyers trope induced in my the repulsive horror of what those ideas mean to people who really believe in them. Batman is pretty cool, but in the real world I don't condone vigilantes.You can't just go around killing people. Do I even have to say that?

The absence of a conflict resolution (was there even a conflict to begin with?) made me feel like I had only seen half of a movie. This wasn't a story, it was just a bunch of stuff that happens. I've seen movies about dudes with misdirected anger before, but Gerard Butler lacked the compelling interior logic of a character like Hannibal Lector. I say, if you're going to make an anti-hero, go all the way. It works for Dexter. But if you're going to waffle in-between you aren't going to accomplish anything meaningful.

No comments:

Post a Comment