Movie Review - Justice Served
At one point early in the movie, it felt like Young was taking from James Wan's Saw (2004), minus the grime and the gore. Yet, this movie isn't a horror film. It's more a psychological thriller that has gangster film elements to it, which would also signal that a rapper wrote it.
The premise goes as such. Three pairs of people are all kidnapped and locked in three separate rooms. Each room is set up the same. A person who was on trial for murder but got off due to some technicality is strapped to an electric chair and behind a glass wall is the closest relative of the accused killer's victim. A mysterious female voice comes over the loudspeaker and says the relative is supposed to give the accused killer a second trial. At the end of a couple of days, the relatives are meant to deliver a verdict. Except, the kidnappers already faked the deaths of the accused killers, so the whole thing feels like it has a foregone conclusion.
If that's the case, the goal would seem to turn the relatives into murderers too or accomplices to murders. That isn't justice. It's vengeance, but at no point does anybody point out that hypocrisy unless Young's point is that all justice is just vengeance. Two of the three, closest relatives don't even struggle with the fact that they're put into this situation.
What is overlooked is that, yes, technicalities can ruin criminal cases and double jeopardy can protect innocent people or shield the guilty. However, it's surprising that at no point did anyone mention one of the most famous murder cases in history. O. J. Simpson was acquitted in his murder trial. The family of his alleged victim didn't need to strap Simpson to a torture chair. The family sued him in civil court and won. He didn't go to jail for the murder but he did owe them a large sum of money.
This movie makes it seem like criminal court is the one and only avenue for justice. In reality, the court system is multi-layered. There's civil court. There's appeals court. There's the Supreme Court. Just because one loses or wins in one court doesn't mean that's the end. Young is either myopic in his view of the courts or doesn't care to acknowledge the other avenues.
Yet, when it comes to the cast, this movie does what little movies do. Anytime there's a villain who has henchmen, a gang of thugs to do the dirty work, those henchmen are often nameless and faceless muscle-heads. Nicely, Young doesn't make the henchmen here nameless or faceless. They're still muscle-heads. The king of which is David Horn who plays the lead henchman, Vernon, but Young gives us glimpses into what Vernon and his crew are thinking and feeling. It's just a shame we didn't get more. I'm curious as to how Vernon was hired to do this job. It's not like he could advertise being a kidnapper in the newspaper.
Not Rated but contains language and violence.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 42 mins.
Available on DVD and VOD on May 9th.