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the Clyde abides...


Jamie Foxx, Gerard Butler, Colm Meaney, Bruce McGill, Leslie Bibb, Regina Hall

Nick: Clyde, I think you’ve got me confused with the detail people.  See, I don’t deal with prison conditions.
Dunnigan: I believe those cots are bolted into the cells.
Clyde: Well that’s what wrenches are for, dumba**!

Ten years after his wife and daughter were brutally murdered right in front of him, Clyde Shelton (Butler) seeks to violently bring down the very justice system that he feels failed him.

Not bad.  Could have been better, but…not bad.

The whole thing seems highly implausible, but that’s mostly forgivable in the case of an action/thriller.  The problem is, I didn’t feel like we really knew many of the characters at all.  I guess Nick Rice (Foxx) had the most depth, but everybody else, even Butler to an extent, felt like cardboard cutouts being moved around when and where necessary.  There was only a few minutes at the beginning where we see Clyde pre-mad-bomber stage.  He’s making jewelry with his daughter, or something, so we have to assume he’s an average, loving father.  We don’t really get to see any real transformation take place in the character, which makes the movie seem even more unbelievable at first.  But then we find out a ways in that he’s some sort of super-spy who’s an expert in killing people.  Okay, maybe he’s not just an average, loving father.

The acting is good enough, even though it’s mostly just people yelling at each other in jail cells, courtrooms, or various other settings.  I wish they’d made Clyde a little more sympathetic and conflicted, though.  It doesn’t take long for him to go from somebody we’re rooting for as he takes out the guys who killed his family to somebody we’re backing slowly away from as he starts trying to take out anybody and everybody who had anything to do with his case.  I think it would have been nice to keep the audience unsure about whether they wanted to back away or stick with him for a little longer.

There are a few unexpected turns along the way, but overall, it ends up exactly where you’d expect it to.  Not that that ruins the movie, it just makes it seem all the more ordinary.

Not bad…could have been better.

Might want to keep an eye on who’s renting storage space near your prison…

10 – 1.5 for thin characters – 1 for some implausibility – 1 for an overall dull feel and a predictable finale = 6.5