WOW – what an intense experience this movie was! I actually wasn’t looking for this particular movie when I decided to go to a matinee yesterday. I haven’t seen any trailers on it and wasn’t aware of any details. I logged onto Yahoo Movies to see what was playing in the area yesterday to see if there was anything that caught my eye. I noticed this title, but the poster didn’t do anything for me. So, I opened it up to see what the write-up was about – and I was instantly intrigued!!! Then, I saw the cast list – Jamie Fox, Gerard Butler (that one, alone, was enough to convince me), and Colm Meaney. OK, sounded like it would definitely be worth the price of a matinee ticket, so I decided to give it a try!
The story opens with Clyde Shelton (Gerard Butler) enjoying an evening with his family – wife and young daughter. While the wife is fixing dinner and the daughter is washing up, he goes to answer the door. The minute he opens the door, two thugs push their way in and bash him in the head with a baseball bat. They proceed to beat him, tie him up, and duct tape his mouth. Then, his wife comes out of the kitchen and starts to scream, so one of the thugs goes after her. While he is beating and raping her with Shelton and the other thug looking on, the little girl appears in the doorway. To Shelton’s horror, the thug grabs the girl and disappears into another room saying, “don’t worry, children love me”! Shelton survives the invasion/attack, but his wife and daughter don’t! His nightmare doesn’t end there, though! Jamie Fox plays the prosecutor on the case. He ends up making a deal with the one who did the actual violent parts of the crime – he would plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for his testimony against the other guy! So – he only served about 5 years and the one who was only there to rob the place ended up charged directly with the murders and was sentenced to death! How’s that for justice???? Shelton was, of course, in shock and appalled at how the system failed him and his slain family!
Fast forward 10 years……beginning with a horrifying mix up at the execution of the one who got the death sentence that resulted in an agonizing death and then the ingenious, yet sickening, brutal slaughter of the one that got away with murder, the story starts to blossom! I won’t go into any more detail — all this happens very quickly in the beginning! But, suffice it to say that it is an intense psychological thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat and made me jump and gasp more than once!!! Shelton spends the rest of the movie cunningly and brilliantly getting his revenge and staying one step ahead of Fox and Meaney as they try to figure out what he’ll do next and how in the world he is doing it!!!!
On the down side – it was way too gory for me! I don’t particularly care for that much graphic violence and blood!!! But, there were only a couple really bad scenes and I was able to turn away and not watch the sickening parts without spoiling any of the story and intensity! And the ending actually surprised me!!! That rarely EVER happens!!!
Even with what I would define as unnecessarily extreme graphic violence, I still rate this one an A+ — very intense, very good story, exceptional acting (particularly by Gerard Butler), and not even the slightest second of slow or boring moments! I highly recommend it for anyone really into psychological thrillers — I seriously doubt anyone will be disappointed! If you are, I’d love to hear why!!! CAUTION: Definitely NOT for kids — if you usually allow your kids to see movies like this, you may want to see it first OR wait until it comes out on DVD so you can skip the really graphic scenes!