Justice - DVD Review
Review by Rob Carnevale
ROGER Donaldson is a dab hand when it comes to directing solid, sometimes riveting thrillers, as No Way Out, Thirteen Days and The Bank Job will attest.
Sadly, his latest – while preposterously entertaining for long periods of time – fails to overcome a really bad screenplay that makes one too many unforgivable mistakes.
The premise is certainly intriguing. When the wife (January Jones) of successful teacher Will Gerard (Nicolas Cage) is raped, he is approached by Simon (Guy Pearce), the head figure of a shadowy organisation, to get revenge in a way the justice system would never condone.
In return, Will should be willing to ‘repay the favour’ at a time the organisation deems appropriate.
But when Will is subsequently asked to kill an alleged child molester and refuses he suddenly finds the organisation making life extremely difficult for him as he struggles to do the right thing.
Donaldson’s film follows in a similar vein to the likes of The Star Chamber and Magnum Force and isn’t without tension or solid set pieces.
But it’s ill-served by two fundamental flaws: the trivialisation of the rape that serves as the catalyst for proceedings (the emotional implications of which quickly get forgotten) and the growing absurdity of what transpires.
Rather than aspiring to keep things even remotely believable, Todd Hickey and Robert Tannen’s screenplay throws in one unlikely twist after another that places an increasing strain on the film’s credibility.
To make matters worse, a lot of these supposed twists can be seen coming a mile off.
Of the performances, Cage and Pearce give good value as the two adversaries but too many of the supporting cast (and Jones especially) feel short-changed.
It means that while Justice could (and probably should) have worked as a ‘so bad it’s good’ kind of guilty pleasure, it instead becomes just plain bad.
Running time: 105mins
UK Blu-ray & DVD Release: March 26, 2012