Seeking Justice

Seeking Justice continues Nicholas Cage’s downward spiral into oblivion.

Certain film makers are constantly thrashed by some film critics. There is nothing personal, I’m sure, yet over time, certain actors and even directors, become the target of verbal assault by some critics. As a reviewer, I must say that I am growing very weary of Nicholas Cage and his pathetic choice of films to appear in. Not only is he going from bad to worse as an actor, his characters are becoming very annoying. Ever since National Treasure, his characters are always on some wild goose chase or another and often with a bag of juvenile magic tricks. Why do I still watch his movies, you ask? Because not too long ago, Cage used to be one of Hollywood’s top actors. Then again, so were Dennis Hopper and Cuba Gooding Jr. With Hopper, everything went downhill after his villainous role in Speed. Nobody knows what has become of him and frankly, I couldn’t care any less. Whereas, Gooding won an Oscar in Jerry Maguire and then saw an early career peak opposite Robert De Niro in Men of Honor. As far as I’m concerned, both Hopper and Gooding are now B movie stars; a downgrade of their own doing. With Cage, and for some reason, I am still holding on to a last strand of hope that he will turn around and get back into his unique skill of method acting, while also choosing better movies instead of the tripe he chooses to work with currently.

In Seeking Justice, Cage plays a spineless school teacher as Will Gerard. Will is at the hospital lobby the night his wife Laura (January Jones) is sexually assaulted, when he is offered the services of a vigilante group run by Simon (Guy Pearce). This secret society of punishers proposes to “take care” of perpetrators outside the law, in return for a “small” favour of sorts. Initially reluctant, Gerard finally gives in and the rapist is “taken care of”. Six months later, the Gerards have moved on with their lives when Will is asked to return the favour. Sure enough, Will backs out and faces a life threatening situation where no one can be trusted, not even close friends and colleagues.

Where do I begin? The most obvious is the ridiculous story. Revenge flicks only work if the story ignites some sort of rage in the viewer. If it fails to do so, then the plot is lost, so to speak. And this is exactly what happens in this movie. Adding insult to injury is the most unbelievably pathetic performance from almost everyone in this film. Right at the top is Cage, whose character doesn’t appear to be the least bit bothered that his wife is the latest victim of a known sexual offender. His only emotion stems from a constipated look throughout the film. Then there is Jones’ Laura, who gets dumber by the minute and actually trusts strangers within months of being brutalized in her own vehicle. On top of that, Cage and Jones are never convincing as a married couple with no evident affection for each other, before or after the incident. You would think that an incident like this would be a massive turning point in any relationship. But no sir, apparently, screenwriters Todd Hickey and Robert Tannen had other things in mind― like an unnecessary whodunit twist that results in mindless action. On the other hand, Pearce does a decent job as the increasingly intimidating antagonist. Good expressions and screen presence from Pearce, but sadly, his character is poorly penned.

Having worked with the likes of Anthony Hopkins, Al Pacino and various other A-list stars, Roger Donaldson is an acclaimed director, so what the heck was he thinking with this movie? If the story is non-engaging, the acting one dimensional, and the plot with more holes than Swiss cheese, Donaldson has failed to put together what could have been a decent thriller. Looks like its strike one for Donaldson, but not even Francis Ford Coppola can save Cage now.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

About Lloyd Bayer

Besides his passion for travelling, photography and scuba diving, Lloyd is a prolific film critic having contributed hundreds of film reviews to web and print journals, including IMDb and local daily Khaleej Times.