— by TOM ELCE —
In “Law Abiding Citizen,” a film for which a new clip has been revealed, an everyday man sets about seeking revenge on the killers of his family following their release courtesy of a plea bargain.
If this immediately gets you thinking back to 2004’s James Wan-directed “Death Sentence,” put those feelings of deja vu aside for now. Here’s why: The movie — starring Gerard Butler as the “everyday guy” gone cuckoo, and Jamie Foxx as the D.A. observant of the threat he holds even when confined to a cell — looks like it could well be garbage. At least, that’s what this clip suggests to those (un)fortunate enough to glimpse it.
Silly as some of it was, “Death Sentence” at least made for serious-minded fun. Contrary to that, “Law Abiding Citizen” appears to find Butler in all-out ham mode, caught somewhere between Kevin Spacey’s John Doe and Anthony Hopkins’ Hannibal Lecter, minus any semblance of sublety. It’s really something when an actor’s dead-eyed threat produces a chortle.
If luck’s with us, maybe the face-off between Foxx and Butler on display in this clip is the lowest part of the movie. Failing that, viewers to the film with either be in for pain or (wholly unintentional) pleasure.
The movie’s written by “Ultraviolet” helmer and “Street Kings” writer Kurt Wimmer, while directing duties have been taken up by F. Gary Gary, who hasn’t exactly dazzled in his previous work — that being 2005’s “Be Cool” and 2003’s awful “A Man Apart.” After Foxx and Butler, the cast’s made up of Hollywood also-rans, from Regina Hall to Bruce McGill to Leslie Bibb.
“Law Abiding Citizen” is released into U.S. theaters Oct. 16.
Follow Tom Elce on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tom_elce.