Monday, 18 March 2013

Justice/Seeking Justice - film review

Justice is a 2011 movie which is also known as Seeking Justice and was, it seems,originally known by the more memorable title of The Hungry Rabbit Jumps. The idiosyncratic, but often reliable, Rotten Tomatoes review website gives it a poor score, but I beg to differ. I really enjoyed it, and found it an unpredictable and twisty thriller of genuine quality.

So often, our views are influenced by our expectations. I must admit that I did not have high hopes for this film, but its plot came as a pleasant surprise. Essentially, it's a film about vigilantism, and as we all know, vigilantism in movies is generally a Bad Thing. Here, the wife of Will, a quiet English teacher (Nicholas Cage) is brutally attacked and raped. Will is approached by a mysterious stranger (the excellent Guy Pearce) and is made an offer: we'll kill your wife's attacker, if you give us a small bit of help in the future. Of course, we know it won't work out like that, but after some reservations, Will goes along with the idea.

Before long, his life is in chaos. He is set up to kill someone who is described as a sex pest (but is that true?) and his marriage starts to run into difficulty. January Jones, a very beautiful woman, plays Cage's wife, and she has a key role in the plot - not only as the initial victim. Half-way through the film, the story changes direction, as Will's "victim" proves to be, not a sex pest, but a man with an agenda of his own, whom the vigilantes wanted dead.

The pace falters a little in the final third of the story, but overall, I rated this film highly. A thriller of this kind needs to avoid predictability,and vigilante movies tend to be all too predictable, but I was kept engaged from start to finish. The cast is good, and the deeper significance of the issues at the heart of the story are touched on, if only (and sensibly) in a brief way. Never mind Rotten Tomatoes. This is a very enjoyable action thriller, which I gladly recommend.

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