This action-packed thriller stars Nicolas Cage as Will Gerard, a happily married family man whose quiet life is turned upside-down when his wife, Laura (January Jones), is brutally attacked one night while leaving work.
At the hospital, waiting for news about his wife’s condition, Will is approached by Simon, (Guy Pearce) who proposes an intriguing offer: Simon will arrange to have a complete stranger exact vengeance on Laura’s attacker, in exchange for a favor from Will in the near future. Distraught and grief-stricken, Will consents to the deal, unwittingly pulling himself into a dangerous underground vigilante operation. While continuing to protect his wife from the truth, he quickly discovers that his quest for justice could lead to frightening and deadly consequences.
Directed by Roger Donaldson (The Bank Job, The Recruit), with story by Robert Tannen and Todd Hickey and screenplay by Robert Tannen, Seeking Justice also stars Harold Perrineau (ABC’s “Lost,” upcoming Inferno: A Linda Lovelace Story) and Jennifer Carpenter (Showtime’s “Dexter,” Quarantine).
Nicolas Cage sure does have it rough. Just last year, there were a number of trespassers in his house holding his family hostage. His brother died in an arms deal gone awry, and he's had a serious problem with his face catching on fire in recent years. You'd think a guy who can see the future would find a way to avoid all those dangerous pratfalls like they were bees, aaahhhh my eyes, my eyes, aaahhhh aaaaahhhhhh, but I suppose it's karmic retribution for the string of car thefts he masterminded.
'Seeking Justice' details what happens when Will Gerard (Cage) gets put in a corner, against all the odds...with no bear suit in sight. After his wife (portrayed by January Jones) gets brutally accosted and raped, Gerard is given a one time offer from a stranger (Guy Pearce): in exchange for immediate justice, Gerard will owe him a favor to be called in at any time, no matter the size. What seemed like a murderously good deal at the time comes back to haunt Gerard when six months later his debt is called in. Forced to kill a man or face dire consequences that will end in the death of his family, it's up to Cage to outsmart a shady government agency whose black op tactics have been manipulating the New Orleans area for over a decade.
'Seeking Justice' is to cliche what Nicolas Cage is to acting while on crack, ie, the same damn thing. First, didn't we already see Cage in a film in New Orleans quite recently where there were little to no viable police? It's almost as if the NOPD means there's no PD to be found. Of course, Cage pretends to be a high school English teacher in a run down school in the bad part of town, where students regularly fight and tag and need metal detectors to keep them in line. Of course tragedy strikes him when he has his cell phone off whilst playing chess. Of course the person who assaults his wife is a scumbag with a record of doing the same damn thing. And, most strikingly, of course there's an agent atop an organization that "deals with people" finding him within minutes of his arriving at the hospital to check on his abused spouse, catching him at a moment of emotional weakness.
The funny thing is, this agency and Guy Pearce's character, promise Cage that revenge will not cost him any money, only a favor in the future. Yet, to agree to the terms, he has to go buy two candy bars from a vending machine. They're not free, and, may I say, this particular scene marks the most suspenseful purchase of a "Fortune" bar in world history, especially since Cage knows exactly what product to purchase...twice. We, the audience, are really sweating bullets, wondering what will befall our hero. Will the machine jam? Will it not give proper change? The possibilities are endless! Then, when the favor is called in, Cage is told to go buy a ticket to a zoo and watch someone. Zoos cost money. Then he has to take a bus. A bus! And then there's bus fare home! Who knew hiring a shady, clandestine agency to kill the person who just raped your wife would have so many hidden costs? Apparently not me or Nic Cage.
'Seeking Justice' is just a little too unbelievable to be believable. When the man with the bird hair and sex crime goatee is double crossed by the murderous agency (seriously, man, they're snakes), he has to avoid police and a group of killers while getting to the bottom of the whole affair. Not only does Cage outsmart the baddies at every turn, surviving attacks and escaping numerous times when death was on the menu, but he also puts together the pieces that an investigative journalist couldn't. Even more telling, this agency, which follows his every move and can break into his home at ease, apparently can't solve these same simple clues that Cage does while on the run. We're to believe a group with ties to all sorts of databases can't find properties owned by those they kill to erase any evidence against them?
Perhaps I should be thankful that this documentary plays out much more like an action film than anything else, including the requisite shaky cam sequences. Without 'Seeking Justice,' I never would have known how much soliciting murder takes its toll on a marriage. I also never would have known that "I teach English" is a viable defense against murder charges. Additionally, I discovered that bald people are all secretly murderous fiends, meaning I may need to start looking for toupees. This film really does lay it on thick, to the point of choking the audience, so be prepared for some unintentional comedy by way of how entirely wasted Jennifer Carpenter is in this flick. Seriously, how many films actually make January Jones seem human, yet a superior actress acts like she is a robot trapped in a Jennifer Carpenter shell. Maybe it was Freaky Friday on set...
The Disc: Vital Stats
Anchor Bay brings 'Seeking Justice' to Blu-ray on a Region A locked BD25 disc. There's no annoying pre-menu garbage, just the usual title cards and warnings. The menu itself is a little slow acting, but features full motion video and a good audio loop.
'Seeking Justice' is awesome sauce on Blu-ray, with a 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 encode that makes the film pop like a million bucks, with only minor issues. Textures are beyond fantastic, with clothing and vehicles coming alive scene after scene. Black levels are appropriate, not too deep, with no crush issues anywhere in the flick. Stray hairs leap superbly, making even the tiniest of peach fuzz pop out at you. Detail levels in random settings, like the cracks and wear and tear on concrete really shine, while picture depth is regularly pretty darned deep, with even hard focused shots maintaining great back layers. There is some moiring, particularly in the corduroy jacket, while skin tones can get pretty darned hot and sometimes a bit orangish.
The audio on 'Seeking Justice' kinda left me underwhelmed. The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track may not have much to work with, but even still there are issues aside from lack of activity. I've never heard a more serene, peaceful Mardi Gras celebration than the one in this film, as even non-crowded bars have more rear ambience and activity in them. Bass can be non-existant in scenes you'd expect it, with gunfire receiving only a slight pop. Dialogue is warm with absolutely no prioritization issues, even over the clearly powerful score. The problem is, there's some high pitched feedback beneath some of the dialogue in the hospital, and it doesn't sound like the hum of a fluorescent light. It sounds like 'Sin City' with its high pitched squeal.
This Blu-ray release also includes a DVD copy of the film.
I love Nicolas Cage's work in cinema; the more cracked out and insane he gets, the more I enjoy it. While 'Seeking Justice' went under the radar, it's a watchable, yet a little unbelievable. This Blu-ray release features great video but sometimes troubled audio, and only a smidgen of potential extras gold. Check this one out. It's surprisingly entertaining for being as brain dead as it is...possibly because of how fun it is to make fun of!