Monday, January 18, 2010


"I do not negotiate with murderers"

Gerard Butler plays Clyde Shelton, a family man who was one day attacked in his house by 2 men. Clyde was beaten and tied up, and was forced to see his wife and daughter brutally murdered. Clyde somehow survive the ordeal, and the two murderers were arrested.

But  Assistant District Attorney Nick Rice (Jamie Foxx) was ordered to make a deal with one of the killers to testify against his partner for a 10 year plea bargain prison sentence. This would be unfair as one of the killers will face a lesser punishment. Clyde doesn't want to make the deal because that would mean letting the more cruel one go, while the other one got the death penalty.

However, Nick says it was too late and the deal is done.

10 years later, Clyde returns to seek revenge against those who allowed mercy to supercede justice. He wants pay back for the murder of his family and he wants to teach those in the justice system, especially Nick Rice, a lesson.

I personally like this movie. It's gripping and engaging as the storyline is very nicely plotted. It surrounds the theme "What would you do when laws just can't be just?" or  perhaps also, "To what extend is justice considered just?".

I love Gerard Butler personally and in this movie, he made his character a heart-felt one. I pity Clyde so bad that I irrationally root for his victory in the movie though I know that his actions are wrong and somewhat cruel. But seriously, he's a happy family man who lost his wife and daughter and lived to watch one of murderers roam free just after 10 years. So, who can blame him for being angry?

I love the way he challenged the judge, the attorneys who made the release of the murderer possible. He despised the flaws of the justice system and the fact that these people had taken justice lightly and he wants to teach them a lesson. I think he basically feels that even death penalty is not a severe punishment enough to make up for what they had done to his family and him.

Clyde is not an ordinary person. In fact later, Nick found out that Clyde is part of the think-tanks. Think tanks are a group people who are highly intelligent, and usually engaged or funded by governments to think about solutions to very intricate problems, sometimes, including how to murder without leaving any trail (I believe Malaysia also have think tanks but not as effective because they left trails and created a mess; if you are Malaysian, you might know which case I'm talking about). I mean, clearly, sometimes governments or very famous corporations need to get rid of stuff in order to protect reputation, and they somehow choose a back-path.

But anyway, Clyde is a think-tank, meaning that he is super intelligent and of course his revenge is a series of games with the authorities as they try to outsmart him. The movie is like watching Criminal Minds, except that this case doesn't involve the B.A.U. Clyde is not psychotic or sadistic...he is just a smart guy seeking revenge.

I like the way Clyde challenged the judge and attorneys who somehow take the justice system so lightly. I love the scene where Clyde made a statement, embarrassing the judge in-charged of the case.

Personally, I don't get why they cast Jamie Foxx as Nick. Sorry but I am just not a fan of Jamie Foxx. It makes me really dislike the character Nick. If I were to choose someone to play Nick, my first will be Denzel Washington. Denzel just has it you know...I love watching Denzel because his movies usually has depth and he just makes the movie brilliant with his acting. I don't know why but I just like him. Okay if not Denzel Washington, then maybe Terrence Howard but definitely not Jamie Foxx.

I find it hard to take Jamie Foxx seriously. I also don't like Jamie's interpretation of the character Nick. Nick is sure that he made the right decision with the deal he made with the murderer 10 years ago. Okay maybe Nick's character is supposed to be that way, but because it is played by Foxx, I just don't like the character due to bias.

Nevertheless, I somehow agreed with Nick when he said that what Clyde is now (revengeful and murderous) is definitely what his daughter expect him to be. It leaves you thinking again, what is right, what is wrong? It also highlights to us that laws are only there as guides but at the end of the day, nothing is fair in life, sometimes, not even the law. To what extend will you go to fight for justice? Then again, what is justice? Does Clyde's torturous extermination of those murderers who took his family define justice? Or is all justice and fairness defined rigidly by a country's legal system?

Nick believes that 10 years of jail and another executed is sufficient and that justice has been served. For Clyde, those light punishments meant justice has not been served. So? What's your take?   

I argue in the end that NOTHING IS FAIR, NOT EVEN THE JUSTICE SYSTEM. In fact, all the laws are bull crap that can be manipulated - sadly that is why some lawyers garner despicable reputations. Then again, what is considered fair to a person varies depending on how the situation affects us personally. So, in the end, justice and fairness is always a debatable issue and thus, the need for lawyers haha.

I guess overall, the movie is good. Okay I'm telling you...after so many episodes of Criminal Minds, the plot is not exceptionally unique BUT it sure is gripping. Thank God it still managed to keep me guessing and kept me engaged. It is somewhat predictable but it managed to excite.
Not bad if you like action and crime movies.

TC-My Rating:

With Lotsa Lurve,
TammyC on a Sunday nite...

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