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Karen McCann's eldest daughter is raped and murdered whilst on the phone with her. When the case against Robert Doob, the perpetrator, is dismissed because of a technicality, she starts following him and sees how he checks out his next victim, a woman he delivers groceries to. She tells the police, but is only warned she must stop following Doob. When she tries to warn the woman, she is shooed out of the house. Doob, having found out that Karen is following him, threatens to do something to her youngest daughter. She then seeks help from a group of vigilantes connected to a support group, in order to shoot Doob. However, a friend from the support group turns out to be an FBI agent investigating the very vigilante activity Karen is involved in and warns her that she will go to jail for the rest of her life unless it is self-defense. In the meantime, tension grows between Karen and her husband Mack, because he finds out she has secretly been taking self-defense classes and has been ... Written by
Sally Fields does a good job with this movie as a revenge seeking mother of a teenage daughter who's been raped and murdered. I suppose to make this worth watching, she has to do a good job with this. The story itself has been done over and over: seeking revenge after a violent crime because the justice system has failed. That's a pretty cliché type of situation and story, so there's not really a great deal to recommend this as far as originality is concerned. But Fields is good, and Kiefer Sutherland is appropriately creepy and threatening as the rapist/murderer. The portrayal of the rape of Karen's daughter was terrifying, but (thankfully) not especially graphic.) The same could be said for the later rape committed by Sutherland's Doob. The movie, in my opinion, also makes a fair point about the justice system leaning too far on the side of defending the rights of obviously guilty criminals at the expense of actually dispensing justice for their victims. I understand the need to protect the rights of the accused, but there does have to be a balance, and that balance is sometimes lost in the system that we have.
I was kind of put off by the "group" the McCann's attended for people who had lost loved ones to violence. To each his or her own, I suppose, but I can't imagine that sitting around night after night talking about the same thing over and over and over again is really going to help anyone move on, and I wasn't convinced by the "vigilante organization" aspect of this.
I have to say, though, that I did like the ending. What I was finding distasteful up to this point was that Karen was going to turn vigilante, and by so doing she'd be be risking losing her other daughter as well by ending up in prison, which might have satisfied her own desire for revenge but would have been very selfish toward the younger daughter. So, the way she played things, she made sure that (a) she'd get her revenge, but (b) that she wouldn't lose anything more by doing it. So, the ending worked for me. Overall, I found this a pretty good watch. (7/10)
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