SIngli6 - wrote on 07/03/13
Law Abiding Citizen asks us to celebrate Draconian revenge-based justice and the violation of civil liberties because of the fact that the courts can occasionally be abused to get bad people out of nasty sentences. It uses the rape and murder of a child and her mother to justify the abandonment of neutrality in law and encourage the pursuit of punishment over stability. It uses the grief of a widower to mould a mad, sadistic Knight Templar-type supervillain (played by Gerard Butler) to convince us that violent crime is the result of the law being too soft on offenders. And why does it do all these things? To engender populist contempt, of course, for rehabilitative criminological theories that Americans rarely use anyway; and given the frequency of this type of viciously exploitative entertainment in the US, it is doubtful they ever will.
Objectively speaking, Law Abiding Citizen is not a terrible film. It has reasonable production values, serviceable performances, and a few effectively disconcerting scenes. Yet it is only through the prism of moral subjectivity that I can properly review this film, as Law Abiding Citizen is so up its own cretinous arse with its self-righteous arguments for dogmatic retributive justice that it dares me to do so.