Justice (R15)

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Review byMatthew Turner17/11/2011

One out of Five stars
Running time: 105 mins

Boring and objectionable in equal measure, Justice is badly written, poorly conceived and doesn't even offer the saving grace of a bonkers Nic Cage performance.

What's it all about?
Directed by Roger Donaldson, Justice stars Nic Cage as Will Gerard, a New Orleans teacher who's devastated when his wife Laura (January Jones) is hospitalised after a brutal sexual assault. With the police seemingly powerless to help, Will is approached by a stranger (Guy Pearce as Simon) who says that he's part of a vigilante group and that they will take care of Laura's rapist on the condition that Will does something for them in the future.

After agonising for all of five minutes, Will accepts, via the dubious method of ordering a specific candy bar from a vending machine and sure enough, Laura's rapist is duly dispatched by a member of the vigilante group. However, to repay his debt, Will is asked to kill a suspected paedophile and he begins to suspect that Simon may have his own agenda.

The Bad
Normally with a Nicolas Cage movie this terrible (such as the recent Trespass) you can at least rely on Cage to deliver an engagingly bonkers performance, but his heart doesn't seem to be in this one and he plays it boringly straight throughout, to the point where any other actor could have taken the role and it would have made no difference - he doesn't even have a decent shouty moment. Similarly, Jones seems miscast while Pearce is lumbered with such a ridiculous role as the villain that he seems in a hurry to get it all over with as quickly as possible.

The script is frequently objectionable on a number of different levels, not least wanting all the illicit thrills of the vigilante genre (satiating a lust for revenge, etc) while at the same time crying about vigilantism being wrong. As if that wasn't bad enough, the film throws in some supposedly political context about New Orleans having gone to hell since Katrina, though that does at least allow the filmmakers to use an abandoned shopping mall (the one interesting thing about the film) as a the location for the final showdown.

The Worse
On top of everything else, the film is surprisingly boring, thanks to some poor pacing and a lack of anything resembling an action sequence, unless you count a brief scrap on an underpass. In fact, there's only one exciting moment in the whole film and it involves Cage, er, running across a busy motorway.

Worth seeing?
Badly written and poorly conceived, Justice is an extremely boring Nic Cage thriller that isn't even worth seeing in a 'so bad it's good' way. One to avoid.

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Content updated: 07/12/2019 04:17

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