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Avg. Rating: 3
Great Actors; Ham-Fisted Plot
Righteous Kill / B0015OKWL2
I really wanted to like Righteous Kill. I love ambiguous morality dramas like The Brave One (Widescreen Edition), and was looking forward to seeing the psychology behind a police vigilante - what motivates him (revenge? justice? protection? disgust? anger?) and whether or not we would agree with his motives, if not his methods. With Pacino and De Niro, I was sure I couldn't be disappointed. In the end, I was both right and wrong. I was disappointed with the movie, but not with the acting. It was the ham-fisted plot that did it for me.
The movie starts out, promisingly enough, with De Niro performing a voice-over, video-taped confession - explaining why he murdered his victims, what motivated him, how he chose them. We flash back to 'the beginning' and are treated to the stereotypical long standing cop-partnership: De Niro is the hot-head and Pacino is the mediator, calming him down and keeping him out of trouble. Pacino cleans up De Niro's messes and holds the deep tenderness and understanding that seems to characterize long marriages and cop partnerships.
As De Niro explodes repeatedly over various incidents ranging from disputed baseball plays and criminals walking free on court technicalities, the savvy movie goer begins to find themselves on the edge of a doubt. As De Niro sweats under the inquiring gaze of the other police officers and seems constantly on the verge of discovery, it hits us between the eyes that De Niro can't be the killer, because he's just too obvious a set-up. The voice-over confession, the constant raging temper, the internal investigation: all these are so blatant, obvious, and ham-fisted that we realize, long before we are supposed to, that the killer must be Pacino because, well, De Niro is just too obvious.
This is irritating. As an avid movie-watcher, I expect twists, sure, but the twist shouldn't be set-up so obvious that it's being shoved in your face. When the entire movie seems to be one long shout of "De Niro is the killer!! De Niro is the killer!!", then the movie-goer is forced to switch gears from the subtle intricacies of vigilantism and into the teeth-grinding, "Well, who is the REAL killer?" mode. Let's see, it can't be De Niro because he's too obvious. It can't be his girlfriend because she's there to be a sex object and a victim, and not anything so glamorous as The Killer. (Which is a shame, because it would have been an interesting twist, with Pacino thinking that De Niro is the killer and covering for him, only to find that he had misjudged his partner all this time.) Nope, it's got to be Pacino because he's a head-line name and his character is charming and patient, which is an extremely suspicious thing to be in these sorts of movies.
After the viewer is slammed in the fact with the "twist" thirty minutes ahead of schedule, all interest is lost. The movie isn't really about exploring vigilantism, or delving into the psyche of someone who witnesses daily horrors - it's about finding out that Pacino is the real killer. Having already let that slip via the ham-fisted set-up of De Niro, there's nothing much left to do but let it grind down to the end.
This movie provides closed captions for the hearing impaired.
To call this a thriller or a suspense film would be an overstatement. It is really just a moderately entertaining and rather predictable cop show.
It features two legends of the big screen, Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro. One would expect a superb performance with that combination. Sadly, that is not the case here.
DeNiro plays Turk and Pacino is Rooster, a pair of longtime partners in the NYPD detective division. Turk is a fiery, get them at all costs sort of cop while Rooster is a more methodical, by-the-book gumshoe. They are investigating a series of murders where the victims had been arrested for various crimes but were acquitted due to technicalities. Another investigative duo, Simon Perez (John Leguizamo)and Ted Riley (Donnie Walberg) is also looking into the case. The evidence starts pointing toward a cop as the killer. Eventually Perez and Riley began suspecting that Turk is the one.
There are a couple of twists, but this is one where it becomes fairly obvious where it is going. It is reasonably good, but there are a lot of better shows out there.
Sadly, Two Legendary Actors Do Not Guaranty a Great Movie
Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro play two long-time NYC detectives who have been partners for years. DeNiro's Turk has a hair-trigger temper and definite issues with anger management. He's counterbalanced by Pacino's Rooster who's an easygoing, funloving guy. Both are tracking a serial killer who's murdering criminals who have not been convicted due to technicality glitches. The investigation points to a cop (this brought up by Rooster) which Turk adamantly refuses to believe. Brian Dennehy (another great actor) has a peripheral role as their boss. Carla Gugino plays a forensic criminalist who is also Turk's girlfriend, and she's just weird in this role. None of the characters were that likeable; therefore, I wasn't vested in the outcome.
The pace of the movie seemed lagging and at times just wasn't interesting. DeNiro and Pacino play off one another well but it didn't work in this case. Almost from the start, I figured out who the real killer was - as in any mystery, filter out all the red herrings thrown at you and focus on the least likely one.
Hopefully if these two pair up again, the movie will equal their talent.
This one was just a weak as all the reviews had mentioned. How the hell could you waste the talents of Pacino and DeNiro with such mediocrity? Not awful, but awfully disappointing.
newspapers are giving away this dvd !
i live in istanbul -turkey....this weekend- hurriyet newspaper which costs 35 cents, gave away this dvd to the readers who paid an extra 20 cents with it! and believe me - there is a reason for it :) do i need to say more? don't waste 14 dollars on it as big names don't do justice to this movie and it should cost no more than a blank dvd....
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