The film Law Abiding Citizen, starring Jamie Foxx and Gerard Butler (and produced by Butler’s Shingle, Evil Twins) has gone through a lot of changes. Kurt Wimmer (Equilibrium) wrote the original script, which was re-written by Frank Darabont. At one point, Darabont was also set to direct. But he dropped off the project and was replaced by F Gary Gray. That tempered interest somewhat. But ET now has a trailer, and it looks like pulpy fun in the Wanted vein.
Last year, when Darabont left the project (not happily, it seemed) there was a lot of confusion about the plot. Quite a few different synopses floated up. Some had Butler and listed in roles that now seem to be the opposite of what’s actually in the film, others had what now seem like partial views of the actual movie. Point is, the script underwent a lot of reworking, so hopefully it settled into some good workable form by the end.
What we see here is Butler as a man who suffers when his family is killed, then is enraged when one of the killers gets off on a plea bargain. He takes revenge, and is imprisoned. But his reach evidently stretches beyond the bars, because he continues to kill people who get in his way, even while in the slammer. It’s a fun idea; revenge pictures can be a bloody good time, and this has shades of the old Fritz Lang Dr. Mabuse films, in which a shadowy criminal mastermind has a death grip on his city.
The scope of the movie looks huge, too, which is great. F Gary Gray has become a director of workmanlike, often forgettable action movies, and I’d like to see this be a better than average effort from him. Would be great to finally see Gerard Butler fulfill his post-300 potential, too.
And if you missed them earlier this week, check out the movie’s two posters, too. They’re pretty great.