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Clyde Shelton's wife and daughter are killed and the murderers are set free. He sets out a course for revenge and soon takes on the prosecutor and the city of Philadelphia itself. This is the common vengeance formula used in many films. However, Law Abiding Citizen is smarter than most of these revenge flicks. The dialogue is quite intelligent, but the screenplay can sometimes slow down a bit too much for mainstream moviegoers.
Gerard Butler and Jamie Foxx are the two main characters going head to head. Both of them give good performances, but Gerard Butler stands out a bit more. He gives a more realistic performance. He hits every mark well and won't be forgotten any time soon. Unfortunately, Jamie Foxx's performance is a bit stale. His character is completely two-dimensional compared to Clyde Shelton. However, the two actors connect on screen very professionally.
The trailer may be a bit misleading, since Law Abiding Citizen is a dialogue centered film. There is rarely many explosions or huge special effects, which are shown in the trailers. Although there aren't a lot of explosions and such, the ones used are spectacular. The prison cell is depicted very skillfully with camera angles and darkening the film itself.
While this film is a lot better than many of these thriller-esque flicks, it still is far from perfect. The ending didn't quite fit with the rest of the film. It makes sense to end as it did, but many audiences will be disappointed with the unfolding of the movie. Law Abiding Citizen is a clever, entertaining, and occasionally gruesome flick that is recommended.