What You Need To Know:
SEEKING JUSTICE is by-the-numbers filmmaking. It has an illogical plot. Nicolas Cage looks like he’s sleepwalking through the movie. As the wife, January Jones is also ludicrously dispassionate. Both characters use ridiculously faulty logic and reasoning in numerous situations. They endanger themselves foolishly and repeatedly. SEEKING JUSTICE lacks the grittiness required for such a crime story. The direction by Roger Donaldson is uninspired. SEEKING JUSTICE also contains plenty of strong foul language, intense violence, and a brief sex scene. Its worldview seems muddled. Extreme caution is advised.
(RoRo, FR, APAP, B, LLL, VV, SS, A, MM) Strong but muddled Romantic worldview that accepts vigilante justice then attacks it then accepts it as part of the way things are, with a confused false view of justice, corrupt American police, and some moral elements; 21 obscenities and 10 or more profanities; strong violence includes a rape scene that’s more implied and discussed than depicted, hero’s wife grabbed by an assailant and dragged into her car’s back seat which implies a rape, vigilantes kill the attacker and approach the rape victim’s husband to demand he kill a criminal in return as a fellow act of vigilantism or they will threaten his wife and his livelihood, several people get (some shot in the head), two men fighting fall down an escalator and crash through a glass window, man shown with shard of glass sticking through his neck, a villain is hit hard by a car while chasing the hero amid highway traffic and his body is shown being dragged, foot chase causes numerous cars to swerve or crash, man falls off an overpass into oncoming traffic and his body hits a windshield; briefly depicted sex scene between man and wife in bed; no nudity; alcohol use; no smoking or drugs; and, revenge, vigilante justice not really rebuked, police cover up truth.
SEEKING JUSTICE is another in the seemingly never-ending string of B thrillers starring Nicolas Cage. It’s a prime example of the mediocrity that his career tends to sadly produce in recent years. SEEKING JUSTICE has a heavy revenge theme and strong Romantic underpinnings with some mild moral undertones as the hero tries to reject the idea that vigilantism provides acceptable answers to crime. This makes the movie maddeningly muddled in its viewpoint.
Cage plays Will Gerard, a New Orleans high school English teacher who teaches pacifism to his students until his wife, Laura (January Jones), is raped. As she recovers in a hospital, and he is left reeling with mixed emotions, a vigilante (Guy Pearce) appears and offers to kill the rapist for him. The catch? Will must agree to kill another sex offender and remove him from society. Will agrees at first, but then finds himself constantly harassed with notes and phone calls giving him threats and instructions to carry out his end of the deal. Will finally sets out to push an alleged pedophile off a highway overpass to certain death in traffic. At the last minute, Will changes his mind and decides to warn the man that other people are out to kill him. The intended victim fights him instead. He then accidentally falls off the overpass to his death anyway.
Will is brought in for questioning by police. A superior officer uses a vigilante code phrase on him and lets him go. Will learns that the alleged pedophile was actually a newspaper reporter seeking to bring down the vigilantes. Now, he has to find out how to make them leave him and his wife alone while shutting the group down himself. [SPOILER ALERT] However, the ending has the same police officer make the whole case and Will’s fights against the vigilantes disappear from police records. Thus, even if Will doesn’t like vigilantism, it’s the way of the world in the movie’s vision of things.
SEEKING JUSTICE is by-the-numbers, lazy filmmaking, from its workmanlike obvious title on down through the downbeat performance by Nicolas Cage, who looks like he’s sleepwalking through the movie. As the wife, January Jones is also ludicrously dispassionate. Both characters use ridiculously faulty logic and reasoning in numerous situations that cause them to endanger themselves foolishly and repeatedly.
The movie is shot digitally, causing it to have an antiseptic tone when its New Orleans setting and underground-justice nature call for grittiness. Roger Donaldson’s direction is typically uninspired. Besides its lazy, illogical plot, SEEKING JUSTICE contains plenty of strong foul language and strong violence. Extreme caution is advised.