Archive for the ‘Seeking Justice’ Category

Seeking Justice

No I’m not sure why Nicolas Cage is in twenty movies each year, probably because he needs the paycheck after his financial woes.  People are sick of seeing Nick Cage up on the silver screen, but the fact is that in most of his movies…he’s actually pretty good.   Sure he makes garbage like Drive Angry 3D, and his Ghost Rider series may cripple the comic book film industry, but he’s also made some gems recently like Bad Lieutenat: Port of Call, and Knowing, two films that made my top 10 a few years back.  Whatever it is you hate about Nicolas Cage is the same reason why he’s awesome as well, and that’s the only reason why I decided to go and check out Seeking Justice. Sure I might be flipping a coin here and getting a bad Nick Cage film, but I also might be getting one of those hidden gems, and that’s worth the risk.  Unfortunately the risk doesn’t pay off…at all.  In fact in backfires in such a horrible way that I have to sit through what may be Cage’s worst movie ever.

Cage stars as a New Orleans high school English teacher Wil, and January Jones, proving once again she can’t act her way out of a box of shredded wheat, plays his musician wife, Laura.  They love their city, but it’s a dangerous city that has become a haven for thieves and criminals.  One evening Laura is a victim of one of these horrible criminals and is savagely beaten and raped.  Wil rushes to her aid in the hospital, and that’s when he’s confronted by a man, Simon (Guy Pearce) with a strange offer.  Simon offers to take care of the man that raped Wil’s wife.  He belongs to an underground group of vigilantes who are tired of watching their city go down the tubes to the like of these vermin.  All Wil has to do is promise to do a favor for Simon if he is ever called upon.  Wil wants justice for his wife, but at what price?  If Wil chooses justice this way he is going down a slippery slope, that may come back to haunt him in the end.

I don’t know how in the world this script was ever green-lit.  It is so full of holes it looks like swiss cheese on the screen.  Simon is supposed to be a vigilante who seeks out justice for those who can not have it, yet he’s an angry, vicious, ruthless man who practices none of the things he preaches.  The men who follow him became part of this underground group in order to take back their city, but they are just as bad as the men they help get rid of.  We never really get a good glimpse of this group either, or who is running it.  It also seems that pretty much everyone you come across happens to be a vigilante as well.  For such a secret society they sure have a lot of members.

I love revenge films like Taken and Death Wish, and that’s what this tries to be but fails.  I love when a man seeks justice by his own means.  It’s one of the oldest plot-lines there is, but Seeking Justice isn’t really about justice at all.  It’s about covering ones tracks, and trying to pin everything on someone else.  All of the characters lose their way, including Wil.  Wil should be the one man who is rock-solid in his beliefs about what justice entails, but he completely forgets all of that along the way.  My other big problem with revenge films is that characters all of a sudden have super-human abilities.  Wil is an English teacher, yet somehow he knows how to navigate vehicles at extreme speeds during car chases, and is able to hide from the police at every turn.  Most English teachers I know would probably be dead within five minutes if they were being hunted by a gang of vigilantes or police for that matter.

January Jones adds nothing to the film in her role as a hapless victim.  She tosses her blonde hair around and bats her lashes, completely oblivious to the trouble her husband has gotten himself and her in to.  Nick Cage is being Nick Cage and you’re going to get what you paid for here.  The biggest disappointment is from director Roger Donaldson who’s last film was the under-rated Bank Job staring Jason Statham.  That film was whip-smart in it’s execution and story-telling.  Seeking Justice is the complete opposite.  It’s ridiculous, has awful acting, is poorly directed, and worst of all it’s just plain boring.  This is one of the worst films of the year, and easily one of the worst films ever for Nicolas Cage.

Grade: D –