Who's In It:Gerard Butler, Jamie Foxx, Colm Meaney, Bruce McGill, Leslie Bibb, Viola Davis, Regina Hall
The Basics: Bad robbers rape and kill Gerard Butler's wife and child. (It's in the trailer and happens in the first five minutes--not a spoiler.) The guy who did the actual raping and murdering plea-bargains his way into a shorter sentence. So Butler, a revenge artist with both the slowest 10-year-long fuse in human history and the tech skills of a hundred scientists and military tactical experts, sets off a chain of events that will, one by one, brutally punish (as in totally explode and/or neckstab and/or bury alive) every single person involved in the miscarriage of justice. You always root for the horror movie serial killer anyway; why not feel good about it?
What's The Deal: I'm a fan of crappy movies built around nothing more than bloodlust, sensation and good murders, the kind of films with no fixed moral center and no reason to exist other than to get you all riled up. That's this movie. It sucks but at least it never lets up. And it messes with you too. Because just when you're all good and worked into frenzy of vicarious vengeance-dealing, Butler's character starts murdering people simply to get them out of his way so that his diabolically exact and completely preposterous plan can fully bloom. Right in the middle of cheering him on, you stop and think, "Oh... wait." Then you keep on hoping he'll win. 100 percent ridiculous but also 100 percent aggro-tainment
Do Not Get Up In The Middle And Go To The Bathroom. Here's Why: Because you might miss the best part, which involves this lady and a thing and a shocking moment where it gets all crazy, a scene where the entire preview audience shouted in surprise. Pretty great really. I would like to tell you more but that would ruin it.
And Boom, Suddenly There's Viola Davis: Maybe you remember her as the only non-yelling person in Doubt, the mom of the abused boy who shows up and makes you forget for five minutes that you're watching something overwrought and silly. For her efforts they nominated her for an Oscar. And it's led to what appears to be her new job in Hollywood, which is to be the character who walks in at the 2/3rd over mark (here she's the flabbergasted mayor) and gives everyone a much-needed reality check by saying something akin to, "What the stupid hell is going on this movie?!"
Tonight He Dines In Jamie Foxx's Salary Territory: If it's your kind of thing, you'll be pleased to know that Gerard Butler repeats the near-nudity you enjoyed in 300, this time for his big getting arrested scene. Of course, there's no actual good reason for his character to do this, much like the Kate Beckinsale shower scene in Whiteout. It's kind of like, "Well I still have these abs. I might as well show them off."