Since breaking out in the mid-’90s, F. Gary Gray has established himself among the handful of former music video directors who graduated to big-budget projects. After directing box office hits such as the 2003 hit “ The Italian Job”, Gray seemed to vanish, prompting some to wonder about his professional future.
After a nearly four year break, Gray seems to have returned with a vengeance with “Law Abiding Citizen,” a violently provocative story about a man who, ten years after his wife and daughter are brutally murdered, returns to extract justice from the assistant district attorney who prosecuted the case against their killers. His vengeance threatens not only the man who allowed mercy to supersede justice, but also the system and the city that made it so.
In the movie, Jamie Foxx plays the arrogant Philadelphia prosecutor that makes a deal that allows one of the killers to receive a reduced sentence. Director Gary Gray describes it as his most accomplished film. “I’ve never delivered a film before that I felt matched my potential,” he said recently while relaxing in the lounge of a Beverly Hills hotel. “I’ve always looked at my first few films as being like boot camp. With this film, people will really get a chance to see the growth.” With “Law Abiding Citizen,” Gray was determined to bring an element of moral relativity to the screen.
He was also compelled by the vigilante theme: Though audiences may initially cheer Shelton’s violent campaign, its escalating brutality becomes more and more troubling. With high expectations, it will be interesting to see how well this movie does in the box office this weekend. What do you think? Be sure to check out the trailer