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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Crime > Court > Thriller > Law Abiding Citizen (2009/Anchor Bay Blu-ray Set + DVD)

Law Abiding Citizen (2009/Anchor Bay Blu-ray Set + DVD)

 

Picture: B-/C†††† Sound: B/B-†††† Extras: C-†††† Film: C-

 

 

Years ago, it looked like Music Video director F. Gary Gray could break out and become a serious contender for a good feature film director, especially based on how good Set It Off was.Unfortunately, he started making competent corporate-at-best product (The Negotiator, A Man Apart, The Italian Job) and 2005ís absolutely awful Be Cool.Four years after that horrid sequel to the likable Get Shorty, Gray tries to return to thriller territory with Jamie Foxx, Gerard Butler and Law Abiding Citizen.

 

Foxx is a good guy investigator who took on the case of a home invasion in which the daughter and wife of good man Butler were killed ten years ago.In a bad plea bargain, Foxx gets one of the two killers to turn on the other, but that is not enough for Butler.Now, the one who turned is found dead and Butlerís character is the #1 suspect in his murder, made easier by the fact that he confesses he did it!

 

However, he makes a threat to the still-successful prosecutor to change the laws or heíll go after the rest of those involved with the lenient outcome of the case.This give Butler an excuse to get nuts and though he can act, he and this film take a mixed idea and go way over the top with it.The result in either the theatrical cut or uncut editions presented here are contrived and never work.Thatís a shame, because done well, this could have worked well enough, but Gray and the screenplay by the more miss than hit Kurt Wimmer (Equilibrium, Sphere, The Recruit, Street Kings, Thomas Crown Affair remake) is a dud and the more outrageous it gets, the more desperate it all is.Too bad, because if they had the guts to make a big statement, this was an interesting opportunity to do so, but they blew it.Bruce McGill, Viola Davis and Colm Meaney also star.

 

The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image was shot in Super 35mm film by Director of Photography Jonathan Sela (Max Payne, The Omen remake) and both the shoot and the transfer here are underwhelming.I did not find any shots here that good, memorable or exciting, while the actual transfer has noise, detail issues, some motion blur and never works that well.The anamorphically enhanced DVD is even worse with faded Black and more detail issues.The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix is better with a good, rich surround mix, but the soundfield is not the best from a Gray film (Italian Job and Set It Off sound better) and it too disappoints.Louder scenes can sound a little strained.This also affects Brian Tylerís so-so score.The Dolby Digital 5.1 on the DVD is weaker still with more of a strained sound.

 

Extras include different versions on different Blu-rays, seven making of featurettes and trailer on Blu-ray One and feature length commentary on the theatrical cut on Blu-ray Two by Producers Lucas Foster and Alan Siegel.

 

 

-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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