Review of Seeking Justice
on 2012-05-13 10:51
Movie Review: "Seeking Justice" --
Rating: R (violence, language and brief sexuality)
Length: 105 minutes
Release Date: March 25, 2012
Directed by: Roger Donaldson
Genre: Action / Drama / Thriller
Cast: Full cast and crew
Rating: 3 out of 5
"Seeking Justice" stars Nicolas Cage as Will Gerard, an unassuming high school English teacher. His wife, Laura, is played by the gorgeous January Jones. Laura ends up in the hospital after being badly beaten by strangers. Will goes to her side and becomes angry upon seeing her condition. Suddenly, a stranger appears and informs Will of a vigilante network. They can kill his wife's attacker if Will agrees to do a favor for them in the future. Still enraged the mild school teacher agrees to the arrangement. Later, the favor is revealed: Will must kill a man suspected of molesting children. This is outside of his comfort zone, and an internal struggle erupts.
Will finds himself in over his head. The consequences of the deal are more than he bargained for, but there is no way out. An accident results in him running from the police while attempting to save his wife and deal with the vigilante group. Will really has his hands full in this thriller. The film takes the audience on a rollercoaster ride. It's full of the things action movie fans love best: car chases, crashes, escapes, clues, puzzles, and action. This movie is sure to please.
Nicolas Cage does what he does best. He gives a gritty performance full of emotional ups and downs, yet he is as likeable as always and really breathes life into his character. Another actor may have made the character of Will too vanilla, but Nicolas Cage is not capable of a dull performance. His scenes are the best in the film. It's fun to watch him run around the streets of New Orleans and freak out once or twice. He plays the English teacher as a regular Joe but also delivers as a tormented husband. As things get heated, Cage really throws himself into the role. His performance sucks the audience in. Few other actors have the range and ability that Cage displays in his films. His fans will enjoy what he brings to the table in "Seeking Justice."
Director Roger Donaldson keeps the action moving. The film is suspenseful and has a plot twist or two. Reminiscent of "Strangers on a Train," the movie places ordinary people in extraordinary situations. The New Orleans setting gives the movie a darker feel and sense of desperation. The city has not fully recovered from the hurricane damage, and the sense of paranoia enhances the film. Donaldson brings realism to the action, and it adds to the overall feel of the film. Those seeking a nonstop thrill ride will find it in this film.
One of the hallmarks of a good suspense film is the plot twist, and this film has many. It is the unpredictability of the movie that makes it so entertaining. The audience is thrown one loop after another and does not know what will happen next. The concept is intriguing, though not unique. The vigilante angle coupled with interestingly dark characters make this film stand apart from other suspenseful thrillers.
January Jones is perhaps too beautiful to be an English teacher's wife. However, she tones down her performance and is believable as Will's adoring spouse. She brings fragility to her character as well as strength. She's emotional when she needs to be and loving as well. It is obvious why Will would be willing to accept such a heinous deal in the first place. Her main function in this film is to give Will a reason to do crazy things. The chemistry between Cage and Jones provides just that. A lesser actress might have faded into the background, but January Jones is difficult to ignore. Her character is delightfully clueless as to her husband's antics, and that works to his advantage. Jones comes off more as trusting than as a dumb blonde. She's the perfect complement to Cage.
Guy Pearce is the bad guy in this film. Like most bad guys, he is scary and powerful. He sometimes comes across as a little creepy, which works in his favor. In each of his scenes, Guy manages to pull off a chilling performance. He's the kind of guy children are warned about. His boogeyman-like vibe makes it clear that he is a man who can get the job done and should also be feared. Guy's performance is believable and disturbing. This film has a lot going for it, and audiences will be pleased.