‘Seeking Justice,’ reviewed by Marshall Fine

HollywoodandFine.com

Playing like some disjointed hybrid of “Strangers on a Train” and “The Parallax View” by way of “Death Wish,” “Seeking Justice” is never terrible – just never terribly anything else, either.

Having a seasoned action pro like Roger Donaldson at the helm helps. On the other hand, putting Nicolas Cage at the center of this “Fugitive”-like chase can’t help but be a distraction.

No doubt, there are still movie-goers who can watch Nicolas Cage with a straight face. And certainly there are those of us who recall Cage when he was an eccentrically passionate young actor, never afraid to throw himself completely into a character – and there were some distinctive characters in his first movie decade.

In recent years, however, Cage has become a caricature of himself, raging and winking his way through what seem like hundreds of bad movies, from big-budget Jerry Bruckheimer schlock to the films of John Woo and even Werner Herzog. As a result, it’s hard to watch him in a role as a seemingly normal person because, well, he’s so obviously not.

In “Seeking Justice,” he plays Will Gerard, a high-school English teacher whose wife Laura (January Jones) is brutally raped on her way home one evening. Will rushes to the hospital – and ends up sitting mournfully in the waiting room, while she lies unconscious in the E.R.

As he waits, Will is approached by a stranger, Simon (Guy Pearce, with a buzzcut), who offers to punish the man who attacked Will’s wife. Simon knows who and where the assailant is because he’s part of a group that makes it their mission to hunt down criminals who beat a too-lenient system. In exchange, Will agrees to do an unspecified favor for Simon at some point in the future.

This review continues on my website.