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Sunday, 9 November 2008

Pride and Glory, 2008 - Movie review

Director: Gavin O'Connor
Starring
: Edward Norton, Colin Farrell, Jon Voight, Noah Emmerich, Jennifer Ehle
Running Time
: 130 minutes
Score
: 5 / 10

This review by tgeorge2012


Gavin O'Connor's new release, "Pride and Glory," is a violent story about the NYPD that begs the question, "How moral are today's police departments?"

"Pride and Glory" is a drama-filled story that follows the Tierney family as they try to fulfill their role, to serve and protect, and survive in the Big Apple. Noah Emmerich, who plays as Francis Tierney, Jr., has the role of the oblivious precinct commander, who's staff of cops is in so deep that the audience wonders the whole time how he could be so much of a moron and be in such a place of power at the same time. The head of shenanigans, Jimmy Egan, is none other than Colin Farrell, who is married into the family through Emmerich's sister. Edward Norton plays the role of 'good cop' Ray Tierney, Emmerich's younger brother, who has obviously been through some traumatic event in the field that has forced him to accept a desk job with the NYPD. Don't let it bother you, though, because if you want to know what actually happened to him, you'll have to sit there until the movie is near its finish, when the event is briefly explained and still leaves viewers curious. Ed is constantly being begged to come back to the field, but always politely declines, even to his father, Jon Voight, for a mysterious, unrevealed reason. Voight, who plays the role of the drunk, ex-cop father, wants nothing more than for his family to emerge from the rubble with pride and glory intact.

Upon seeing this film, the viewer is thrust into the world of New York gang heat and dirty cops. The film reveals the lives of officers in the NYPD Precinct 31, who will do anything to do away with a prominent gang leader and get out with as much money as possible. To add to it, Emmerich, who fails to realize how corrupt his precinct is, has a wife at home with some unconfirmed sort of cancer and is currently going through chemotherapy. "Why," the viewer may ask, "is this even a part of the film?" This question is simply answered: To add filler to the movie. Nothing fills up the time in a movie like unnecessary drama, and here is found a prime example.

The movie is chock full of violence and, if anything, will just make you wonder about the real integrity of our police departments. In the film, there are maybe too many real-life situations, so much so that director O'Connor felt it necessary to place a disclaimer right before the credits stating that the movie, in no way, tells any historical story or gives any real account on how the NYPD really operates.

Also, I can't help but wonder how much better the film would have been had the casting been different. In the film, Colin Farrell plays bad cop, while Edward Norton plays good cop. I can confidently say that, had these two actors changed roles, O'Connor could have pulled this movie off.

The film overall was very unoriginal, to the point where I was sure that I had seen it before. It was the same-old good cop, bad cop film, filled with gratuitous violence and language; a classic example of a movie whose cast was too famous for its plot. Overall, I gave the film a very generous 5.5 out of 10 stars.

I wish I could write more on this film, but that would require that the film have more real sustenance to actually write about. The film was a very long 130 minutes that could have easily been condensed into a much shorter film, or even a late night TV movie. As a huge Ed Norton fan, I had very high hopes for this movie, and I left the theater extremely disappointed, not in his performance (it was spectacular), but in the film itself.
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