Clyde Shelton's family is brutally murdered. The ones responsible are caught. However, because of improper procedure, the D.A., Nick Rice only has circumstantial evidence. So he decides to get one of them to testify against the other. When Shelton learns of this, he is not happy. Ten years later, the one who was convicted is being executed but something goes wrong; his execution goes awry and he suffers. They learn that someone tampered with the machine. And the other one is found dead, killed in a gruesome manner. Rice suspects Shelton, so he has him picked up. At first, Shelton agrees to a plea agreement with Rice but changes his mind. It appears that Shelton is not done, it appears he blames the whole system and is declaring war on it going after everyone involved with his family's case. So Rice has to stop him but Shelton is way ahead of him.Written by
The CCTV cameras used for monitoring the prison interview 'bird cage' are IKEGAMI ITC CTC-5000 models dating from the late 60's through the the early 70's. Yet clearly the movie is set in the 21st century. Cameras are replaced at least every decade or so, the very most. See more »
Two versions of the film exist: theatrical and unrated. The theatrical version is 109 minutes long while the unrated cut released on Blu-ray is 118 minutes long, adding several violent moments that were removed from the theatrical cut to avoid an NC-17 rating. It also features alternate shots and some extra footage. See more »
Almost everyone agrees. Law Abiding Citizen is a great movie but the ending sucks.
The problem is, with about 30 minutes to go, the movie wants us to stop cheering on Clyde (Gerry Butler) and suddenly start thinking of Nick (Jamie Foxx) as the hero. That's not going to work, the audience has just invested about 90 minutes of wanting Clyde to continue with his vengeance. Damn right too.
The plot should have continued to its logical conclusion. Clyde was trying to teach Nick a lesson, that the system was so broken that it could only be fixed by being destroyed first. Rather than the squeaky-Hollywood-ending-slop they served up, here's what should have happened...
In the solitary confinement cell at the end, Jamie Foxx's character Nick should have taken the cell-phone from Clyde then remote-detonated the bomb at city hall, blowing up the mayor, the brass, the whole rotten system, then gone off to watch his daughter's cello recital.
Now, that ending would have been really insane, but it would have taken the movie to its logical conclusion. Nick's conversion would have been complete. As an ending, it would be right up there with Jimmy Cagney at the end of White Heat, 'Made it Ma, top of the world!' Morally dubious, yes, but it would have given us a bona-fide classic. It would be rating 9.8 here on IMDb rather than this insipid seven-point-bleh.
Oh, and the movie loses a point for Gerard Butler not using his own voice. Gerry is a Scot and has a fine Glasgow accent, he should use it.
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