Nicholas Cage (Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance) is back in New Orleans in less of an outsized, nutty performance in this watchable, but increasingly preposterous thriller. An uninspired one that doesn't hold up under the scrutiny of its updated Death Wish/Bernie Madoff premise.
Seeking Justice (which has been dusted off for a likely short theatrical run) also stars January Jones and Guy Pearce (Animal Kingdom, The King's Speech and the upcoming Lockout) where Cage is Will Gerard, a milquetoast high-school English teacher whose quiet existence is turned upside down when cellist wife Laura (a too tepid Jones of AMC's Mad Men) is brutally raped after a rehearsal.
A stranger, Simon, an enigmatically suave Pearce, with an unusual band of minions working for him, convinces a surprised Will to help his vigilante organization after the ex-con culprit is brought to justice. Cage imparts some sufficient emotional energy early on, before this spin on old 70s potboilers like The Parallax View gets rather senseless; not that director Roger Donaldson (The Bank Job) doesn't impart his customary skill. Enough so that Cage's chess-playing, Saab-driving character shows more of the tolerance in roles that characterized his early work before his Oscar-winning turn in Leaving Las Vegas.
A small "favor" for the organization against a child pornographer (Jason Davis) ends up leading to an accidental demise that puts a bargaining Will at odds with the vicious group as well as the authorities. He feels engulfed after getting the closure arranged for him by Simon that gets him a little buggy as he wants to protect Laura but can't tell her what's going on from the implications of said favor. Interesting asides from the growing mayhem slickly stitched with some close-ups together include Will's effect on a delinquent student and a grammatical lesson for a journalist.
It just seems that Cage can't attach himself to decent roles for stretches of time (maybe as a result of his numerous off-screen woes) after Kickass and Bad Lieutenant Port of Call New Orleans as too much suspension of disbelief comes into play based on this Ponzi scheme scenario of deceit and enforcement. Even though this isn't the kind of thoughtful Justice audiences will wish to seek out because they still might believe his career isn't really crumbling, David Tattersall's lensing really puts the Big Easy in a good light. All the chasing leading to a "high point" at the Louisiana Superdome and a nearby abandoned shopping center reveal the dreck behind the answers to swift retribution.