Justice Review: Clearly There’s None

JUSTICE (15): On General Release Friday 18th November

Nic Cage is on a mission to see how many terrible movies he can release in 2011.  So far we’ve had the Season Of The Witch, Drive Angry and Trespass. Well we can add Justice to the list because it’s a shoddy, inept thriller that’ll be forgotten almost as soon as you leave the theatre.

Cage plays Will Gerard, an average New Orleans maths teacher whose wife (January Jones) is raped and badly beaten on the way home from cello practice.   At the hospital he’s approached by a shadowy man called Simon (Guy Pearce) who offers to eliminate the culprit providing Will agrees to return the favour at a later date.

After the briefest of internal agonising, Will accepts (in a hilarious scene involving a vending machine) and mister rapist is summarily bumped off.  But Simon quickly comes back to collect on Will’s debt and tries to get him to dish out some corresponding vigilante justice on another supposed sex pest.

The rest of the film sees Cage running around New Orleans shouting at people in a bid to get some answers as to how far this conspiracy goes, all while being hunted for a crime he didn’t commit.The result is a straightforward and incredibly dull vigilante film to which the term “thriller” can only be tenuously applied.  Beyond Cage’s five minute moral deliberation, there’s very little examination on the ethical quandaries of vigilantism.   That would be fine if the film offered anything in the way of action but its two big moments are respectively: Cage running across a busy motorway and a ham-fisted shoot out in a disused shopping centre.

Usually you can rely on Cage to be suitably demented in his trashiest movies and therefore entertaining (see Vampire’s Kiss for some really insane Cage rambling) but here he just looks bored.

Here, the only glimpse of Cage going crazy is when he hauls off and punches a troublesome student in the face but even that’s not a patch on his performance in the legendarily awful remake of The Wicker Man in which he smacked a woman in the kisser dressed as a bear, which at least could be enjoyed ironically. Add to this the truly terrible dialogue and clunky writing (“Where is she?!” “In the abandoned shopping mall next door”) and you’ve got the flimsiest excuse for a Friday night movie.

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