Justice begins with a man being interviewed on camera, saying just a little and then his car is rammed off the top of a multi-storey car park and taking him to an early death. While in the interview, he muttered the words, “The hungry rabbit jumps…”
Taking the lead in this film is Nicolas Cage as English teacher Will Gerard, and while his wife, Laura (January Jones), performs at a cello recital, he’s away playing chess with headmaster and friend Jimmy (Harold Perrineau). During the latter, she’s attacked by a man who comes up to her car, tapping a gun on the window. He steals the new necklace Will bought her the night before and is left for dead.
While sat in the hospital waiting room with his wife in surgery, he’s greeted by a man expressing sympathy for her condition. Will turns round to see Simon (Guy Pearce), offering to ‘take care’ of the man who raped her. It wouldn’t cost him anything financially, but at some point in the future, he would be asked a favour in return.
When the favour is called upon, it requires going to post a letter at the zoo, dialling a phone number and saying. “The hungry rabbit jumps”, but what can that actually mean? And is that all he really has to do? Well, it’d be a short film if it was.
Justice is one of those “everything you know is wrong” movies, where the main character has to get to the bottom of an impossible situation, even though every other one of these films does seem to star Nicolas Cage in the leading role.
Also, it starts off being a very intriguing thriller as Will gets drawn into further complex situations, especially with the twists within, but then once it starts to deliver those, it quickly falls into run-of-the-mill mode and the last ten minutes are more predictable than a BBC1 sitcom.
When it comes to the cast, Nicolas Cage never changes. He’s fine here, but the only thing that’s different with this performance is that he sports a goatee. January Jones looks bored as hell from start to finish and even Guy Pearce, who I particularly wanted to see, just phones it in. I was also keen to see Dexter’s Jennifer Carpenter in a major film but the first time, but, alas, she gets precious little to do as Trudy, Laura’s friend. A bit further down the list, but in it more often and playing a lieutenant, is Xander Berkeley who could read out the telephone directory and still sound cool as fuck. He’s a name that may not be familiar to all, but he’s been in loads of things, such as the first two series of 24, bowing out with a the hero’s welcome after being poisoned by radiation, and also as John Connor’s foster father in Terminator 2.
One of the best things I took away from the film was a quote from Edmund Burke: “It’s not what a lawyer tells me I may do, but what humanity, reason and justice tell me I ought to do.”
Presented in the original 2.35:1 theatrical ratio and in 1080p high definition, the picture never looks anything other than fantastic with bold, bright colours and is crisp. For the record, I’m watching on a Panasonic 37″ Plasma screen via a Samsung BD-P1500 Blu-ray player.
The sound is in 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, for which I got the 5.1 DTS version, and where the film could occasionally go for subtlety and tension, it opts instead for explosions, gunfire and more explosions. Did I mention it has explosions?
The extras are as follows:
- Trailer (1:46): In 2.35:1. Er… that’s it. What a disappointment.
The menu features small clips of the film played out against a mostly static backdrop. There are subtitles in English only and the total number of chapters is a woeful 12. What is it with various distributors going for the same, lame amount?
One of my bug-bears comes up with this disc as it’s another case of putting trailers before the main menu, like a rental video from the 80s. And not only that, but also there’s an advert for a chocolate bar. Why do they do this? They should be in the extras menu – the trailers at least, and nowhere else. You pay for the disc and you don’t need extra advertisements as if you’re in the cinema.
Running time: 105 minutes
Cat no: MP1142BRR0
Released: March 25th 2012
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1
Widescreen: 2.35:1 (D-Cinema)
Disc Format: BD50
Director: Roger Donaldson
Producers: Ram Bergman, Tobey Maguire and James D. Stern
Screenplay: Robert Tannen (based on a story by Todd Hickey and Robert Tannen)
Music: J. Peter Robinson
Will Gerard: Nicolas Cage
Laura Gerard: January Jones
Simon: Guy Pearce
Trudy: Jennifer Carpenter
Scar: IronE Singleton
Jimmy: Harold Perrineau
Lieutenant Durgan: Xander Berkeley
Detective Rudeski: Joe Chrest