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Seeking Justice (2012)
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Violence, language and brief sexuality
Nicolas Cage, January Jones, Guy Pearce, Jennifer Carpenter, Harold Perrineau, Xander Berkeley, Iron E Singleton, Mike Pniewski, Monica Acosta, David Jensen, J. D. Evermore
Todd Hickey, Robert Tannen
This action-packed thriller stars Nicolas Cage as Will Gerard, a happily married family man whose quiet life is turned upside-down when his wife, Laura (January Jones), is brutally attacked one night while leaving work.
At the hospital, waiting for news about his wife's condition, Will is approached by Simon, (Guy Pearce) who proposes an intriguing offer: Simon will arrange to have a complete stranger exact vengeance on Laura's attacker, in exchange for a favor from Will in the near future. Distraught and grief-stricken, Will consents to the deal, unwittingly pulling himself into a dangerous underground vigilante operation. While continuing to protect his wife from the truth, he quickly discovers that his quest for justice could lead to frightening and deadly consequences.
Seeking Justice (2012) | Review
Vengeance Costs Us Something
After Will Gerard's (Cage) wife Laura (Jones) is raped, he is approached by the shadowy Simon (Pearce) who tells that Laura's rapist will be taken care of now in exchange for a favor later. In his anguish, Gerard agrees to the deal and Laura's rapist is gunned down by someone else who owes Simon something with the catchphrase "the hungry rabbit jumps."
When Simon reappears and demands that Gerard murder a child molester, Gerard balks at the idea, and we know that the tension will mount as the shadows behind Simon close in. Gerard tries to keep Laura in the dark, but she begins to suspect that something is not quite right. As he gets stuck further and further in Simon's web, he must also keep the police at bay. Sure, some of the plot devices are a bit fragile, and Cage's high school music teacher goes all journalist/rogue, but in the end, we're talking tension-packed thriller.
I'm no Cage fan, but the movie was absolutely compelling. Whether it's the grieving husband who wants to be the man he thinks he should be and avenge his wife, or the idea of an organization taking revenge into its own hands, there are interesting psychological and ethical considerations. In the end, it boils down to revenge.
In Deuteronomy 32:35, God claims vengeance as his (and his alone). We can see in the case of Gerard that vengeance doesn't really bring him any peace, happiness, or closure. Instead, it grabs him by the Cage lapels and drags him down a rabbithole of despair, anguish, and danger. God doesn't want us to steer clear of revenge because he wants to spoil our fun, but instead, because God knows that "vengeance always has a price" (the movie's tagline).
Like Cage or not, it's a slick, passionate movie that keeps us moving along with Gerard as he fights to keep his sanity, solve the mystery, and determine the truth behind Simon's rabbit. In the end, he's fighting for his marriage, his survival, and his soul, something other Cage movies have tried hard to express but rarely accomplished.
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