PLOT: High-school English teacher is ensnared by a New Orleans vigilante organization after his wife is assaulted and her attacker executed.
BOTTOM LINE: You have to abandon common sense, but the film has considerable tension, action and, of course, Nicolas Cage.
CAST: Nicolas Cage, January Jones, Guy Pearce, Harold Perrineau
Nicolas Cage seems to be everywhere all the time, even making fun of his own ubiquity (as he did last month on "Saturday Night Live," promoting "Ghost Rider 2"). With this in mind, one approaches "Seeking Justice" -- another revenge-themed thriller for the Cagester -- with trepidation.
Truth is, it's a perfectly palatable and even engaging thriller, albeit one requiring several leaps of faith and/or disengagement with reality. Abandoning his usual anxiety-rich persona, Cage plays Will Gerard, a low-voltage high-school teacher whose cellist wife Laura (January Jones) is assaulted on her way home from rehearsal.
Before the ink is even dry on her insurance forms, Will is approached by a mysterious stranger (Guy Pearce), asking if he wants the rapist dead. Which, of course, at that moment, he does. All that will be asked of him, he's told, is a future favor.
It's pretty obvious that Will is going to be asked to kill off the next heinous criminal who comes into the crosshairs of the vigilantes. You're also pretty sure that Cage will not be playing a milquetoast for long, or the filmmakers would have hired Matt Damon. Where the reasonably well-paced and well-cast "Seeking Justice" has trouble is in convincing the viewer that such a vigilante scheme would ever work at all.
Will doesn't want to kill the random stranger he's told to murder -- how many people would? -- even if he owes a debt, which he does, and which makes him less sympathetic than he might otherwise be. But even if the script doesn't quite hang together, Roger Donaldson ("The Bank Job") knows how to direct an action thriller, and that's what makes "Seeking Justice" watchable, if not quite logical.
PLOT High-school English teacher is ensnared by a New Orleans vigilante organization after his wife is assaulted and her attacker executed. RATING R (disturbing violence, language and brief drug use)
Jones, Guy Pearce, Harold Perrineau