Saturday, 19 November 2011



"Meh" is a modern made-up onomatopoeic word which UrbanDictionary suggests acts as a general non-response to any question or statement, signifying indifference to the point of not being bothered enough to form actual words. To be honest, in the case of this Nicolas Cage action thriller the so-called word "meh" is pushing it, as indeed is "huh", "mmmm" and "tch", but I can't find the letter combination for the sound of someone repeatedly punching themselves in the eye, which is frankly the best response.

Justice (originally known as Seeking Justice) has Cage as an ordinary English teacher at a New Orleans high school, whose musician wife (January Jones) is attacked and raped. While at the hospital he's approached by Guy Pearce who tells him that in return for a small, unspecified favour at some time in the future, he can arrange for the rapist to be dealt with - a deal which he unwisely agrees to only to find that the favour is actually to murder a man he's told is a child pornographer. But it's not long before things unravel and Cage finds himself trapped in a city-wide vigilante conspiracy that will protect itself just as efficiently as it washes the human scum off the streets....

The big mystery isn't how a reputable director like Roger Donaldson has been reduced to this morally confused and illogical twaddle; it's what on Earth it's doing in cinemas when its natural home is the £1.50 per night rental racks in corner shops and off-licences. There's a rather nifty action and foot-chase sequence in heavy traffic, but it's sadly undone by some of it being shot with cheap digital equipment with noticeably poorer picture quality, and the film's conclusion sadly degenerates into people emptying guns at each other. And Nicolas Cage can usually be relied upon to flip out and go entertainingly berserk, but he doesn't even afford us the pleasure of a "Not The Bees!!!!!" moment this time out. All in all it's not worth the effort.


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