Contract killer – Seeking Justice review

Seeking Justice – Starring Nicolas Cage, Guy Pearce, and January Jones. Directed by Roger Donaldson. Rated MA. By Richard Haridy.

You’d be forgiven for skimming past Seeking Justice when considering your evening’s entertainment. After all, a straight-to-DVD film with an uninspiring title and Nicolas Cage front and centre isn’t especially appealing, though I’d mildly suggest it’s worth your time to take a second look. Seeking Justice isn’t an above-average movie by any means, but it is a decent, workmanlike thriller that efficiently entertains.

Cage plays high-school teacher Will Gerard whose life is shaken up when wife Laura (January Jones) is viciously assaulted one night. While at the hospital Will is approached by an mysterious figure with a cryptic proposal. Announcing himself as Simon (Guy Pearce), a deal is offered: his secret organisation can have the perpetrator taken care of immediately and all Will would owe them is an ambiguous ‘favour’ sometime in the future. After a moment’s hesitation, Will accepts and puts the night behind him, until the day he is called upon to return the ‘favour’ in what is revealed to be a Hitchcockian ‘murder for murder’ type situation.

Despite the picture ultimately becoming a generic Fugitive clone where our valiant protagonist goes on the run desperately trying to prove his innocence, Seeking Justice is suitably mindless entertainment for most of its running time. Legendary Australian director Roger Donaldson (Cocktail, Species) orchestrates the proceedings with a pleasing old-school sense of visual pragmatism whilst Cage surprisingly under-acts for once yet still wholly commits to the pulpy, nonsensical premise.

The star of the show is undoubtedly Pearce, always a magnetic screen presence; precise, cold and ever so watchable as the leader of this mysterious secret society. The film soars whenever he’s on screen. Spearheading a strong cast that also includes Lost veteran Harold Perrineau, the B-grade material is genuinely elevated by such performances. Jones is the only weak link, although her role is embarrassingly underwritten and it continues her recent trend of choosing underwhelming roles to support her great work in Mad Men. Originally and enigmatically titled The Hungry Rabbit Jumps, Seeking Justice is like mediocre pizza; It won’t change the world but it should satisfy those hungry for a well-made, generic meal.

3/5

Seeking Justice arrives on DVD and Blu-ray in Australia October 24, 2012. 

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