YOU wait all year for a generic and predictable Nicolas Cage thriller and then two come along in quick succession.
Last week, the Oscar-winning actor valiantly fended off thieves during a home invasion in Trespass.
Now, he reluctantly turns to crime – albeit to clear his besmirched name – in an incendiary tale of revenge, directed by Roger Donaldson.
On the page at least, this has the kernel of a good idea: the rise of vigilantism to correct perceived imbalances in the legal system.
New Orleans teacher Will Gerard (Cage) recites Shakespeare to his students but they’re more interested in texting or graffiti.
His entire world comes crashing down when his musician wife, Laura (January Jones), is robbed and sexually assaulted.
In the hospital waiting room, Will is approached by an enigmatic stranger Simon (Guy Pearce) who offers to save the couple from a distressing court trial by doling out tough justice to the rapist.
All Will has to do is to agree to return the favour at some point in the future.
Six months after entering the pact, Simon contacts Will to collect the debt by asking the teacher to kill a paedophile (Jason Davis).
When Will refuses, Simon ups the stakes, jeopardising the teacher’s relationship with his suspicious wife and best friend Jimmy (Harold Perrineau).
The film is a solid concept competently executed and makes good use of the New Orleans locations to paint the city as a miasma of bright lights and noise.
(1hr 44 mins)
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Guy Pearce, January Jones.
Director: Roger Donaldson