Righteous Kill

2008-12-12 12:51
Righteous Kill
What it's about:

Turk (Robert De Niro) and Rooster (Al Pacino) are veterans of the NYPD, and have been partners for many years. When a body of a criminal turns up with a handwritten poem, they realise that a killer is on the loose, and was possibly responsible for a series of previous murders that they thought were solved. As the bodies pile up, the tension in the force builds and the police find themselves under suspicion of vigilantism. They battle to clear their names and keep order on New York’s rough streets.

Righteous Kill starts off with a very promising retro-styled intro sequence that lulls you into believing you are going to see something funky with a Quentin Tarantino kick. A few minutes into the story proper, a very different beast has been unleashed. Sadly, this beast is a rather disappointing formula cop movie, not unlike a 90 minute TV show. It is only the fine performances that elevate it above something you’d see by accident on e.tv.

What we thought of it:

De Niro and Pacino are really the only reason to see Righteous Kill, and they wear their world weary characters like gloves. Turk and Rooster are cops you’ve seen on many shows before, but rarely are they this real and this human. The subtle dynamics of their relationship add a whole new dimension to the familiar story, and it’s often more exciting watching the verbal sparring between them than it is seeing another clue being discovered. For me, it’s a mystery why two actors of this calibre would choose to star in such a middle-of-the-road film, but they appear to be having fun, which translates nicely on screen.

For hip-hop fans we have 50 Cent (appearing under his real name, Curtis Jackson) as the smooth talking drug dealer, Spider, but don’t expect any star turns or nods to urban music. His acting is decent, although his character never does much, merely serving to propel the plot forward every so often. The same goes for the rest of the cast, and after a few days the only memories you’ll have of this movie are the dramatic wrinkles on Al Pacino’s face and a series of quick shootings accompanied by some awful poetry.

Like the disappointing Fracture (2007), Righteous Kill negates its high points by having a downright pedestrian script that you can’t believe anyone would get excited about. Pacino and De Niro are great, but these are roles they could play in their sleep, so there’s no reason not to just search out any of their superior films. It’s not a bad evening’s entertainment, but it always stays within arm’s length of mediocrity, and wraps up neatly with a twist you can see coming a mile off.

- Ivan Sadler

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A strange murder reopens a long forgotten case for the two veteran New York cops who solved the original crime, and raises suspicions of a vigilante within the force.

Aah Well 2008/10/21 1:22 PM
Critically clueless I have learnt not to trust your word, you are like a hater of all time for all movies...i think u were abused inside the cinema therefore its bad memories for you Ivan Sadler
Ivan 2008/10/21 2:20 PM
I'm sorry you're a simpleton Aah Well - once again some little fellow insulting me without seeing the movie. You must remember I get paid to go and watch these movies, but part of my job is giving an honest criticism. If you can't understand that, then why do you even bother reading any film reviews? Are you retarded, or just ignorant?
Dustin 2008/10/21 5:24 PM
Retarded isn't PC. So i'll go with ignorant! Never seen the movie either, don't plan to, and definitely don't plan on writing non-sensible stuff about the cricket... Maybe i'm just too educated!
Nick 2008/10/24 9:25 PM
Sad... So sad to see two legends of the game falling even further, from the heights of Heat, to this? Sad sad sad. But have to disagree about Fracture, didn't think it was pedestrian, and absolutely worth seeing simply to watch legend of the future Ryan Gosling. He is outstanding! Watch Half Nelson to see him in full flight.
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