Just your atypical ‘Law Abiding Citizen’

Bri Heath

“And you better hurry, Nick, cause by anybody’s watch but the warden’s, you’re already late,” Clyde Shelton yells after attorney Nick Rice, as he runs off to save a colleague. In Law Abiding Citizen, Shelton is a prisoner, locked up for mere days for the murder of a man named Darby, who killed his wife and daughter ten years ago. His accomplice, on death row all this time, was the reason Shelton waited, so he could strike first the convicted, and then “the one that got away.” Shelton, once a member of the CIA, is a genius when it comes to killing people, and figured out a way to do it without ever being in the same room as the person.

Shelton first goes to court against the man who once made a deal with the man who murdered his family, and also appears before the same judge. Having originally agreed to confess to Darby’s murder in exchange for a nice mattress in his cell, Shelton throws out some expletive cases to the judge to convince her to allow bail. She agrees, and he becomes enraged, screaming about how screwed up the system is, and how she almost let a murderer go. He was then thrown back in jail on a contempt of court charge.

Locked away in solitary, anyone involved in the case he deems guilty, and murders. To him, the justice system is corrupt, and he has decided to be the one to fix it. His victims range from high members in the system, such as Darby’s attorney and the ADA, to lower ones, like a woman who simply worked on the case unseen.

The storyline is intriguing, and those who see it, won’t be disappointed. For those who think all the good parts are in the previews – think again. There are a number of action scenes not shown. Even for those who enjoy and are used to scary movies, there’s at least a scene or two that’ll make you jump in surprise. And scenes where you might think you know exactly what’s going to happen will make you question your judgment reliability.

The acting in “Law Abiding Citizen” is awesome, including not just the things that come with an average action film, but also apathy, drama, and humor. “I just have one question: why is Clyde Shelton still in my city?” demands the mayor.

Viola Davis, cast as the mayor, is as brilliant as her character from Law and Order SVU. In this movie, Gerard Butler leaps past his previous roles, pushing him farther than before. As the concerned father, loving husband meets workaholic lawyer Nick Rice, Jamie Foxx doesn’t disappoint, filling the role naturally.

The setup of the prison, more than any other place, is interesting to the viewer. Certain choices of how one area – such as solitary confinement – looks, makes one wonder how old it’s supposed to be, being made up of stone that appears very old.

Watch the movie, you’ll be glued to your seat. Just make sure there’s not an incendiary device attached to it.