Banal Drivel, 4 December 2009
Author: gary-444 from United Kingdom
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A quite good idea is needlessly tortured by a ridiculous plot which has the protagonists looking embarrassed pretty much throughout. The premise is one of a classic revenge tragedy. The execution is a flawed “painting by numbers” attempt at the vigilant genre.It fails horribly. Director Gary Gray has had an unremarkble career to date, this will do nothing to improve matters.
Gerrard Butler plays wronged citizen Clyde Shelton whose wife and daughter are attacked and killed as he watches on helplessly in a raid on his house.The scene is not dissimilar to “Death Wish”.Jamie Foxx plays plea bargaining lawyer Nick Rice who has to deal with the aftermath as ten years on Shelton takes his revenge.But quickly the plot then shifts into “Saw – Jigsaw” territory, however as the story demands multi-settings and pace, it then shifts gear again into thriller/hi tech crime mode.This identity crisis does it no favours.
The moral dimension remains largely unexplored and most of the characters are so tedious that their death’s represent nothing less than mercy killings. The supporting cast is dreadful, none worse than Viola Davis who offers one of the worst, least convincing, acting performances I have ever seen.
There is potential in the scenario of a suspect seemingly wreaking havoc from behind the prison walls, but the explanation, when revealed, is so preposterous, and the ending, just plain stupid.To be found in the bargain bins at a DVD outlet near you soon.