Law Abiding Citizen Trailer: Gerard Butler Gets Payback (and More Payback)
The new trailer for Law Abiding Citizen is out, pitting vigilante Gerard Butler against prosecutor Jamie Foxx in a battle of wills from which no one shall emerge unscathed. Or maybe "unscathed" isn't the right word -- perhaps we should go with unexploded, or untortured, or un-power-tooled, or any of the other variety of ways the bereft Butler's psycho-revenge plot takes on the criminal justice system in Philadelphia.
Subtract a few points for the grammatically incorrect title (it's a B-movie, remember, and hyphens are expensive these days), and you still have a taut little gem chasing its prospective audience with nasty, unapologetic glee. Butler plays Clyde Shelton, a suburban Philly family man who was just about to have dinner with his wife and young daughter when a gang of hoodlums busts in for some home-invasion murder mayhem. Later apprehended, some of the gang strike deals while others wind up on Death Row -- not good enough for Clyde, whose hollow, red-rimmed eyes belie a furious refusal to take "That's the way the justice system works" as an answer from prosecutor Nick Rice (Foxx).
Thus begins a new streak of carnage by Clyde's hand: A sabotaged execution, some routine welder/power-tool torture, a few car bombs... nothing Rice can't handle. Except he can't. Now incarcerated himself, Clyde is commanding fate from his jail cell -- a stylish, beautifully lighted sanctuary apparently borrowed from Silence of the Lambs, where Butler's grinning ultimatums and Foxx's helpless rejoinders meet in a kind of exploitation atom-smasher of moral woe, glossy violence and pitched masculine drama. How is Clyde doing it? Who knows? Who cares? By the time three cars are blown skyward in immediate succession, you're just thankful for a palate cleanser strong enough for The Ugly Truth and The Soloist combined. "I'm just getting warmed up," Butler sneers in conclusion. Here's hoping.