Reel Society

Reviews for the latest movies in theaters and on DVD.

Pride and Glory

 

Review by Matt Starr

If Beverly Hills Chihuahua is your predictable Disney film, then Pride and Glory is your predictable good-cop/bad-cop film. In this version of a premise that has been rehashed countless times, Edward Norton plays Ray Tierney (the good cop) and Colin Farrell plays Jimmy Egan (the bad cop).

There is a lot going on in the story but it feels like there is very little substance. All of the main characters are related to each other in one way or another; former police chief Francis (Jon Voight) is the father to Tierney and Frank Jr, (Noah Emmerich), while Jimmy Egan is his son-in-law.   One night while most of the force is playing a football game, four cops (who are part of the division Frank Jr. heads) are killed in a drug bust that goes bad. A special unit, led by Tierney, is assigned to investigate the situation. Tierney predictably meets some witnesses that reveal some information that he probably never wishes he found out. On top of his pressing situation he still is trying to overcome a traumatic experience from the past that the film, regrettably, never provides any depth about. Unfortunately Norton’s character, much like all of the others for that matter, are poorly constructed.

While the acting is sufficient and even sometimes intense it still feels like some of these guys are going through the motions, and perhaps it’s because they realize they are filming another typical crime film. There are also random and uncomfortable side plots occurring, such as one of the wives being terminally ill with cancer. The thing about movies is that it’s not like reality. We, as the audience, have to actually care about the character first before their actions or situation in the film has any meaning to us, and that is a definite problem with Pride & Glory.

Films like L.A Confidential and The Departed are the blueprint for the good-cop/bad-cop genre and those are two stylistically different films so there isn’t one and only one version of success here. Gavin O’Connor tried to make a bleak and in-your-face film here, but only half-succeeded.

The climax of this film is just awful.  The fashion in which Norton and Farrell resolve their evolving crises is preposterous and highly unlikely. Farrell, whose work from In Bruges earlier this year was impressive, is mediocre at best here. Norton continues to choose duds and it’s starting to take a toll on his performances as well. He is great when the script is good, and I for one hope that he turns it around soon.

2 / 5 stars

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