Law Abiding Citizen (2009)
thought provoking thinking
unacceptable suspense (developments predicted too early)
acceptable suspense (developments predicted minutes before)
exceptional suspense (developments not predicted)
untraceable (natural) acting
I am mostly disappointed at this film for it (eventually) shyed away from a serious and plausible discussion on amending the current us criminal justice system for the sake of drama, effects, and wow factors. The only point that remained till the end is how no one should negotiate with murderers, which in itself is not totally falsifiable. (on that subject, I believe the problem lies in the fact that informed and rational murderers make deal that they believe are favorable to them as all human beings would, which is when the thesis of the flim shall hold true. However there are circumstances, such as when verocious acts were results of passion and amendable stupidity, where negotiations are palsible.)
To be specific for clyde’s case, what I consider to be really problematic are actually the fact that DA make deals without discussion with the plantiff [although murder cases the public is the technical plantiff, but when there are surviving victims that should not be the case], and the fact that the younger and more naive offender is not educated and/or helped enough to 反咬 Clarance 一口, which would eventually render Clarence’s deal worthless.
Going back to the actual plotline of the film, two things stand out as vastly improbable. First, for an engineer who specializes on killing people, I would have expected a much higher alart and protection against random murderous home invasions. Secondly, for a person who plans in such detail, mismaneging the traffic on the street to the extent that he arrived later than multiple person with volatile bomb with repackged locks is rather exaggerated. remember he was on time for the major’s meeting, which means that despite the police inspections, he got back as planned. Also I feel he would be smart enough to realize what is going to happen when Nick did not even attempt to shoot him when he threatens to trigger the bomb.
The point that turned this flim away from my favor is when Clyde murdered his cellmate just so he can move to the solitary cell. That is absolutely self-centered and baseless slaughter. Essentially what he did is to get rid of irrelevant bystander’s life and liberty (since you can’t really tell if a person is innocent or not easily as an outsider) in exchange of his final goal (which is dub as saw like lesson while it is clearly just vegence: he should know that terrorism is no way to teach a lesson as an engineer). From that moment on, he deviates from his claimed objective on “fixing” the criminal justice into a avenging killing spree.
I appreciated his initial brutal murder of Clarence. Putting myself in his shoes, I would have done the same to Clarence, and Clarence only, should I also be capable of, but then release the tape online along with my justification and reasoning, which would also serve as a suicide note and then commit suicide in such a way that is visible and memorable for Nick. My justification is that people of Clarence’s kind chose the criminal lifestyle after their own skewed rational justification. There is no way to control them through bureaucracy or by law enforcement (because loopholes will always be there). The only way to stop them is by upping the ante and showing them clearly how inhuman and painful it would be after they commit verocious crimes like rape and murder. That way they will realign their consequentialist moral and decide to have better self-control. (this sort of relates to the Game of Thrones Red Viper vs. the Mountain fight: for certain people (Mountain) confession is not obtainable. that is simply because they justified their action beforehand under their different value and consequential system. Not only is the Viper’s very showy and floaty flighting skills and attentions at fault, the very fact that he attempts to get a confession from a rapist and murderer who do not feel guilty and confess volentarily is absolute craziness. Bloody and gruesome vengence is the only way to hopefully stop future monsters alike to think second time before raping and murdering.)
It is really sad that they turned Clyde into a terrorist instead of a vigilante, but I suppose the former is more “modern” and can indeed attract more box office for the effects.
(btw, I totally thought the Clyde did not kill Rupert, and Rupert is his accomplice all along. I thought since Rupert did not actually commit the murders Clyde just made him suffer lots of pain and then recruited him. Still, tunnelling into the jail is pretty ingenious.)
#TAG SCORE: 13