A frustrated man decides to take justice into his own hands after a plea bargain sets one of his family's killers free. He targets not only the killer but also the district attorney and others involved in the deal.
Lara Brennan is arrested for murdering her boss with whom she had an argument. It seems she was seen leaving the scene of the crime and her fingerprints were on the murder weapon. Her husband, John would spend the next few years trying to get her released, but there's no evidence that negates the evidence against her. And when the strain of being separated from her family, especially her son, gets to her, John decides to break her out. So he does a lot of research to find a way. Written by
Another noir French thriller is converted into a 'noir-ish' American thriller. Russell Crowe's slightly thuggish looks make him more convincing as the desperado of the second half than the mild-mannered schoolteacher of the first half. Elizabeth Banks's role as the imprisoned wife is slightly under-written; their cute toddler son steals most of her scenes and even some of Russell's.
The plot takes too long to set up, so the first half of the film is a slow haul. But the last half has almost the cracking pace of a DIE HARD romp. Writer/director Paul Haggis elects to deceive the audience as well as the police who are in close pursuit of the fugitives, which puts this in the tradition of 'classics' like TO CATCH A THIEF and CHARADE. Gritty and enjoyable.
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