If I Was The “Law Abiding Citizen” : Movie Reflections

AllHipHop Staff

After seeing “Law Abiding Citizen,” I have the urge to avenge my family and exact unbridled, demented rage upon those that choose to do them wrong.The only problem is nobody has done my family wrong in the horrible ways that Gerald Butler’s lead character suffered. The other problem is I am just not built to plot and plan vengeance over the course of 10 years.I am more of a 30 second to 7-day revenge kind of guy. Heck, I really don’t have the patience of Clyde Shelton (the character played by Gerard Butler).Furthermore, the extent of vengeance for me has always been either a middle finger in a fit of road rage, a knuckle sandwich or murder that only occurs in the recesses of the mind.But from the earliest part of the “Law Abiding Citizen,” the tone is set.The horrors that immediately take place for Clyde Shelton could easily turn a loving nun into the Punisher if there was even a fissure of anger in her heart. His wife and daughter are slain early in a horrific home invasion that he was forced to witness with his own eyes (as opposed to?).In his quest for conventional justice, Shelton entrusts the wheeling-dealing lawyer Nick Rice (played by Jamie Foxx) only to realize that a high conviction rate is the priority for the attorney."Some justice is better than no justice at all," he touts. Rice does a fool's deal that he and his staff will pay dearly. The main murder turns into a snitch and gets a sweet deal in exchange for ratting on his pals.Well, Shelton happens to be a technological militaristic genius, unlike myself. It is like all parties –criminals and the city’s justice system – hit the revenge lottery…and it’s a jackpot. What happens next is “Biblical,” to use Shelton’s exact verbiage. The doting family man is now reborn as a brutal, yet sympathetic character that will likely generate a myriad of conflicting emotions in the viewer.That’s the sort of movie “Law Abiding Citizen” is. It gets the blood hot.God forbid anything of the sort happen to my family or myself…BUT…if it should, I would love to turn into Clyde Shelton. He is the Hannibal Lector of vigilantes. Body parts are cut off. “Innocents” are killed in an effort to gain leverage on this bloody playing field. Sure thereare moments where the unbelievable happens, but that doesn’t detract in any way from the believability of the film. Does that even make sense? It does since anything is feasible under these circumstances.There is an interesting, subtle dynamic between Rice (Foxx) and Shelton (Butler) that jibes well. Rice is ultimately responsible for the plea deal with the murderer, yet he is spared from Shelton’s atrocious slaughter spree time and time again. The reason is never explicitly stated, but is likely because Rice’s present family life mirrors his nemesis’ former existence to a green tea.The interesting part of this, for me, is that I was able to relate to both of these seemingly opposite characters at the same time. Rice is a career-driven family man, most people’s reality.Who do others and I want to “be?” We want to be Clyde Shelton! We are Clyde Shelton in our minds in "what if" scenarios that will never happen. We just want to be peace-lovers, but if you cross that line, we are going to decimate your lowly existence and make you wish you werenever conceived!IN THEORY.So, “Law Abiding Citizen” gets huge thumbs up for making a violent murderer charming and honorable. The film also makes action heroes out of those voyeurs such as myself. Lastly, the movie will provoke thought about the nature of the U.S. Legal System and what the aimsreally are.This movie is one sadistic trip that is worth its weight in road kill.