Now that hes made two movies that have skipped wide theatrical openings this year on a quick route to video, as Trespass and Seeking Justice have, perhaps its time for him to step back and make his next few choices really, really carefully.
Heres the irony: Seeking Justice is one of the better things hes done in a while. Its not superb by any stretch of the imagination, but it works on a level of pure Hollywood suspense.
If only you can get over the sight of him in a Mardi Gras mask and assuming an ebonics drawl to ask an African-American bartender in New Orleans, Who dat?
Full of NOLA flavor, the sleek thriller casts Cage and January Jones (Unknown, X-Men: First Class) as happily married couple Will and Laura Gerard, living it up on the party scene like they have no children. (They dont.) The partys over when, one night, shes attacked and raped by an unknown assailant, sending her to the hospital.
In the waiting room, Wills approached by Simon (Guy Pearce, Prometheus, Dont Be Afraid of the Dark, TVs Mildred Pierce) who makes him an offer he cant refuse: Simon and his people will track down and take out Lauras attacker. For this, Simon wants no money just a favor down the line. Will gives his blessing, and the hit soon occurs.
Six months later, Will hears from Simon, who wishes to cash in that favor: Hes got a guy he wants Will needs to kill. Youd guess this before it happens, but the fun is watching how Will may or may not complete the circle upon which Simons business model is built.
As so many of these things do, it all falls apart at the end, but at least it does so after giving it all its got. Director Roger Donaldson is an old pro at this sort of thing, from 1987s celebrated No Way Out to ... well, that may be it in the realm of straight-ahead thrillers, but Species and The Bank Job were nothing to sneeze at. Lets just say he keeps the machine well-oiled and running at the right speed.
He also keeps Cage restrained after those initial nightlife scenes. Donaldson cant bring anything out of Jones but her usual whiny simpering; outside of TVs Mad Men, where her one-note sourness conveniently fits her role, shes a terrible actress.
And Pearce? Great as always. So much that I wish he had the lead role. Rod Lott
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