Seeking Justice (2011) : The Hungry Rabbit What ??? [Mike’s Review]
Today on Cage Club we get wrapped up in yet another conspiracy with Seeking Justice. This is what I thought was Cage’s first actual direct to DVD release but turns out I was wrong again, we will eventually get there but it seems this film was released theatrically in a few theaters for a very brief amount of time. We have been at the point of Cage Club for a while now where I have never seen the movie before and this one I had always kept my expectations low thinking it was just dumped on DVD, but something strange happened while I watched Seeking Justice, I think I actually liked it ! It is littered with so many conspiracy and thriller movie conventions but for me they all ended up working together enough to pull of this movie. I am probably the one most surprised by this, however I can concede that this isn’t exactly the greatest film made. It is very low budget and filled with mostly TV stars, but Cage is solid and Guy Pierce is a lot of fun as his foil, and together they help elevate and carry the material over the finish line.
Cage plays Will, a High School English teacher that tries to preach the power of pacifism to his students, but will soon have trouble upholding that lesson himself. Right away his wife Laura, played by January Jones, is attacked and raped after her Orchestra rehearsal. When Will gets to the hospital he is approached by a man named Simon played by Guy Pearce. This man Simon says he knows who attacked Laura and can provide the service of killing the man for Will, in exchange for a favor sometime in the future. Simon goes on to reveal a little more about himself saying he heads up a group of victims called The Justice Seekers who take the law into their own hands, handing out sentences to criminals that the law turns a blind eye to. Will agrees to the terms and for several months he and Laura recover from the incident as the man responsible is indeed murdered.
One day when Will is least expecting it Simon approaches him to cash in that favor he owes, but Will is reluctant to comply and that is when Simon puts the squeeze on him. At first Will must perform a menial task, but it elevates and becomes like a game for Simon, leading Will around to assert the power position. When Will must pay back Simon by committing a murder for him and the Justice Seekers that is where Will draws the line. But, Simon threatens Laura’s life and his own so Will tries to go along with it.
Here is where the movie got me for the rest of the ride. When Will goes to murder his target he actually tries to talk to the guy to find out stuff about him, but the guy isn’t having it and seems to know his life is in danger so he tries to kill Will, but is unsuccessful and falls over the overpass into oncoming traffic. Will is now caught by the police and wanted for murder but one of the detectives is part of the Justice Seekers too and by giving Will the secret code “The Hungry Rabbit Jumps” . The cop releases Will to go off and clear his own name. It’s never really clear why this cop help him, maybe because we learn that Simon is going a bit Rouge and using the Justice Seekers to do his own dirty work. That guy that Will was gonna kill and thought was a child abuser was actually a reporter that was on to Simon and his crew and about to bust the whole thing wide open. It’s also revealed that Will’s best friend, Jimmy, is ALSO part of the Justice Seekers and was the one who told Simon to contact him win the first place. Will goes on the run and get the evidence that the reporter was going to use and is about to clear his name when Simon kidnaps Laura and there is a showdown at the abandoned mall. There is a shoot out and a fist fight and Jimmy get’s shot trying to protect Will. Simon goes on a rant about why he’s Seeking Justice for all these people. He is sick of the system and the general public that sit around and watch TV waling for someone else to clean up their mess, so he provides a service that basically cleans up peoples messes for them but then traps them in an unescapable web of deceit and conspiracy of which the rabbit’s hole has no end. Finally it is Laura who shoots Simon to save Will and they are free to live happily ever after. It’s a nice touch to have Laura be the one to kill Simon, it really rounds her character out to be the best written out of all, for me. She goes from a victim to the hero, by far the best arc in the film. In the closing scene, Will goes to hand all the evidence over to the newspaper but the reporter he gives it to tells Will that “The Hungry Rabbit Jumps” meaning that this guy is also part of the Justice Seeker conspiracy (and will destroy the evidence but not chase after Will because he got rid of Simon who everyone through was a problem to begin with).
That does it for Seeking Justice. Look, this isn’t the greatest movie, but it really got me at the start and I went along for the whole ride. We are back in New Orleans, we have some good chase sequences and we have strong language and violence when necessary. It’s not the smartest script but I do enjoy it more than better received films such as The Game with Michael Douglas, but not quite as much as say The Manchurian Candidate. Anyway, I think you can really do a lot worse than Seeking Justice. It’s not his best movie but it’s not his worst by far.
Next up on Cage Club we still don’t go direct to DVD like I thought, but Joel Schumacher is back from 8mm in the directors chair. Can he go 2 for 2 at Cage Club ? returning directors haven’t exactly had the best track recored so far but we will find out next time with Trespass.