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  • Writer's pictureSteve

(Seeking) Justice (2011)

The brackets in the title denote where the film is being viewed. In the UK, we got the title 'Justice'. Everywhere else, it seems, got 'Seeking Justice'. Not exactly sure of the reason why, but still...

Well this was a happy turn up. The last Nicolas Cage outing this reviewer witnessed had him holed up in a house with Nicole Kidman, acting very badly indeed. 'Trespass' aside, Cage continues to confound critics and audiences alike. He has a habit of making the occasionally great film, for every half a dozen average or just plain shoddy ones. Justice is not a great one, to be sure, but reaches average very easily.

When school teacher Will Gerard (Cage) is called to the hospital because his wife Laura (January Jones) has been raped and beaten by an unknown assailant, he is obviously stricken with anger, confusion and, like any responsible partner, guilt, even though he could have done nothing to stop the event. As he sits, lost and confused, in the waiting room after seeing his wife, he is approached by a mysterious stranger, who makes him an offer he initially refuses. This man Simon (Guy Pearce) allegedly knows who the perpetrator is and is offering to take revenge on the man. All he wants in return for this 'act of kindness' is to be able to call on Will for a favour at some time in the future. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, yes it does and yes it is.

So follows a genuinely intriguing game of cat and mouse, where Will is (almost) always the little squeaky rodent. Sure enough, Will gets the call from Simon some six months later and he has a favour to ask. As an action thriller, this is no classic, but it puts you in mind of 'The Game' or 'Enemy Of The State'. One man, desperately trying to find out the truth and prove his innocence, whilst being beset on all sides by very real peril. Story-wise, this is pretty much what you would expect and the plot goes just fast enough not to confuse or overload the viewer. The acting itself is a little below par and the role of Will is not broad enough for Cage to do much with it. Guy Pearce's bad guy Simon is confident and extremely dangerous, which Pearce is not really known for, but pulls off admirably nonetheless.

As a moral standpoint, the film is certainly interesting, suggesting that the right of an individual (or group) to take matters into their own hands because the authorities are unwilling or unable to do it for them would be a little more believable if the bad guys, pretending to be good guys, were a little less forbidding and well, just plain menacing.

If you like your movies smart enough to keep the grey matter ticking over, rather than just sitting there putting popcorn in your face, then this is worth a rent. It's not as complicated as Inception, for example, but testing enough and teasing enough to keep you paying attention. The twists keep coming through the one hundred minute run time, right to the very end, even if you can see them coming a mile away. Good fun, with enough action scenes to satiate those that need it. This is better stuff from Cage, so expect at least three terrible films from him, just over the horizon.


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