In Canton, Mississippi, a fearless young lawyer and his assistant defend a black man accused of murdering two white men who raped his ten-year-old daughter, inciting violent retribution and revenge from the Ku Klux Klan.
In Canton, Mississippi, 10-year-old Tonya Hailey is viciously brutalized by two white racist rednecks -- James Louis "Pete" Willard and Billy Ray Cobb. Almost immediately after Tonya is found and rushed to a hospital, Pete and Billy Ray are found at a roadside bar, where they had been bragging about what they did to Tonya. Tonya's understandably distraught and enraged father, Carl Lee Hailey, remembers a case from a year ago, when four white men raped an African-American girl in a nearby town, and got acquitted. Carl is determined to not let that happen in this case. While deputy Dwayne Powell Looney is escorting Pete and Billy Ray up a flight of stairs to a court room, Carl emerges from the building's basement with an assault rifle, and he kills Pete and Billy Ray for what they did to Tonya. Carl is later arrested at his house by African-American sheriff Ozzie Walls, and Carl is scheduled to be placed on trial. Despite the efforts of the NAACP and local African-American leaders to ...Written by
The Klan leader tells Freddie Lee Cobb that if he brings five friends who share similar ideals, they can all be part of the Klan. However, during their introduction to the group, Cobb only brings three guys. See more »
I really do not know what offended me more about this overly preachy and entirely predictable tale of southern justice. Was it that the movie tried so dam hard to get us to believe that the Samual L Jackson character was justified in killing the two men accused of raping his daughter? Or was it that the entire movie played out exactly as we could expect it to, up until the anti-climatic ending.
In this movie a black man is charge with killing two white men. We are led to believe that these two men are a couple of trashy, long haired idiots, which of course plays up to the movie's attempt to make us hate them. The suspect also wounds a deputy sheriff, a crime we are not supposed to care that much about.
He is defended by an idealistic but conservative lawyer. And the lawyer is aided by the kind hearted but tough norther liberal Sandra Bullock.
To further enlist our sympathy, the film shows the kin folk of the victims, led by Keifer Sutherland, as being stereotypical, dumb white bigots who go to the KKK for support. The courtroom tension is occasionally broken by a brewing race riot. Inside the courtroom, a opportunistic prosecutor, played by Kevin Spacey shoots the works to try to get poor(???) Samual Jackson to justice.
So where this this well intentioned little movie go wrong? Perhaps, for starters it was to try to vilify the victims.
Wouldn't this film have been better if there was a surprise end? Perhaps it would have been better if we find out that the murdered victims were in fact innocent and another person is found to be the rapist? Well this movie is not about surprises. No, this is no "Life of David Gail".
I remember well a movie called "Revenge for a rape" in which Chuck Connors goes on a rampage after his wife is molested by a group of back woodsmen, only to find the men he killed were innocent of the crime. Maybe a little lesson in humility could be learned in this story as well.
Or worse yet, it was that I could tell from the very beginning what was to happen at the end.
Or still worse, it was that the racially charged morality play hits you over the head with a sledge hammer of self Righteousness.
So what this movies boils down to is a "death wish" in black face as Samual L Jackson takes the law into his own hands.
I myself feel cheated for wasting 2 hours.
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