Sunday, March 18, 2012

Movie with Abe: Seeking Justice

Seeking Justice
Directed by Roger Donaldson
Released March 16, 2012

These days, Nicolas Cage movies don’t tend to get a good rep. The Oscar-winning actor hasn’t exactly challenged himself with parts in the past five to ten years, and people have come to expect a certain type of quality – of writing, acting, and hairstyling – from his films. Predictably, “Seeking Justice,” a mangled thriller that never really finds itself firmly tethered to reality, fits into that category exactly, taking a concept that could potentially be cool and ruining it entirely with awful writing and a script that makes less and less sense as it goes on. Even Cage can’t make this film worth watching, not that he stood much of a chance in the first place.

“Seeking Justice” is not your average revenge movie. Laura Gerard (January Jones), the wife of Will Gerard (Cage), is brutally attacked on her way home one night at the start of the film. At the hospital, a shadowy man named Simon (Guy Pearce) approaches Will, and tells him that his organization can find and take care of Laura’s assailant, if he agrees to do something for them when called upon. The rest of the story is obnoxiously obvious, and logic is quickly discarded for the sake of plot convenience. By the middle of the film, Laura has completely forgotten the trauma of being attacked, and Will has inexplicably transformed into an entirely new man as his life continues to spiral out of control.

Cage, who proved he could act in “Leaving Las Vegas” and “Adaptation” (and even in “The Rock,” according to this reviewer), displays no hints of thespian ability in this role. It’s an entirely phoned-in performance, and Cage doesn’t possess the Liam Neeson awesomeness that could have made this movie slightly more tolerable. Jones proves that she is capable of playing only one role well, and that’s Betty Draper on AMC’s “Mad Men,” something she’ll have the opportunity to do again next week when the show returns for its fourth season. Here, she has no personality and lends zero credibility to her character. Pearce is the only one that displays any hint of talent, and he’s just having fun playing an evil puppeteer.

“Seeking Justice” is the kind of film that has been made many times, and most of those have been far better than this underdeveloped, lazy story that feels like a much paler version of a far more complex and competent film. Conspiracies have rarely been so infuriatingly inconsistent and omnipresent, and the film lacks any kind of finale that truly delivers. Even some of Cage’s bad movies of late have been more exciting and enthralling, and this film serves as nothing more than a bitter disappointment, and a reminder that Cage should really be using his time better.


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