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F. Gary Gray

Law Abiding Citizen – F. Gary Gray (2009)

I like the title of this film, but it took me a long time before I watched it. Unfortunately, I like the film a lot less than the title…

Clyde Shelton sees his wife and daughter get murdered. The perpetrators are caught but the persecutor does not aim as high as Shelton’s wishes.

Suddenly we are 10 years down the line. One of the perpetrators gets a lethal injection, while the other has been out of prison for years. Apparently Shelton has been cooking on revenge for all that time and a fairly boring story unfolds in which Shelton came up with all kinds of incredible ways to take revenge on the people involved a decade earlier. This involves some quite violent scenes.

It all results in an unconvincing film with a lot of ‘yeah, right scenes’.

The Negotiator – F. Gary Gray (1998)

I don’t watch popular Hollywood action films very often and after watching “The Negotiator” I remember why. The promising cast with Samuel L. Jackson, Kevin Spacey, David Morse, J.T. Walsh, etc. was no guarantee for an enjoyable film. The story is standard: ‘negotiator’ Jackson is set up by his colleagues for missing money and the murder of his partner. Normally trying to talk hostage-takers out of their actions, Jackson takes people into hostage himself to prove his innocence. This does not go as planned, which is an opportunaty for some action-scenes. Spacey is called in to talk Jackson out of his actions, he develops a sympathy for Jackson’s situation and after an ‘surprising’ scene, all ends well. Not the most entertaining film. Not that the acting is bad, but the story and the way things are worked out are too 15-in-a-dozen.