A family's moral codes are tested when Ray Tierney investigates a case that reveals an incendiary police corruption scandal involving his own brother-in-law. For Ray, the truth is revelatory, a Pandora's Box that threatens to upend not only the Tierney legacy but the entire NYPD.
A family of police officers - patriarch, two sons, and a son-in-law - deals with corruption in a precinct in Washington Heights. Four officers die in an ambush at a drug dealer's apartment. It's brother Francis's precinct, so when the investigation led by brother Ray finds hints of police corruption, there's pressure to close ranks and save Frankie's career. Dad, a police brass, promises Ray that he and Frankie can clean things up, and Ray should focus on catching the drug dealer who killed the cops. Meanwhile, brother-in-law Jimmy, a hothead and an enforcer, is visited at home by a lowlife. Is Jimmy involved in the corruption? Where can this take the family?Written by
(South Rakkas Remix)
Written by M.I.A., Justine Frischmann, Steve Mackey (as Stephen Mackey) and Ross Orton
Performed by M.I.A. (as M.I.A.)
Courtesy of Interscope Records / XL Recordings
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises / Beggars Group See more »
Pride, but nothing new
Early on I had a bad feeling that "Pride and Glory" was some type of remake of Joe Carnahan's first major studio film "Narc." It has that feel. Now I have nothing against "Narc". In fact I think its one of the best of it's corrupt cop genre. It's the reason why I've wanted to see this movie for so long. Carnahan came out firing like an Americanized-Guy Ritchie but now, like Ritchie, the act is growing stale. New Line shelved "Pride and Glory" for two years, which is never a good sign for any movie. Fortunately it's not as bad as you would think but that's really only because it has a cast that could do material like this in its sleep. Carnahan, along with director Gavin O'Connor (Miracle), wrote the script and the two each add their own intense little touches but the movie as a whole just doesn't quite get there.
Ed Norton plays Ray, the brother of Francis (Noah Emerich) and brother-in-law of Jimmy (Colin Farrell). All three are cops on the NYPD and his father, Francis Sr. (Jon Voight), is an ex-police chief. A night after beating the fire department in the annual football game quickly turns to distraught sadness when four cops are gunned down during a drug bust. Ray, whose been working behind a desk since an active duty case went badly and cost him his marriage, is put on to the task force, at his fathers request, to investigate the murders. His investigation leads him to the conclusion that cops were actually responsible for what happened. And not only that but the group was actually a unit headed up by Jimmy, who's doing special favors for another drug dealer who wants the competition rubbed out. Jimmy doesn't see anything wrong with what he's doing, but this soon becomes a PR nightmare for the police as well as a disheartening one for Ray, his father, and his brother.
Police corruption is something so trampled on by filmmakers that it's no wonder people flock to see John McClane when another "Die Hard" movie comes out. There are still good cops to make movies about too aren't there? Carnahan, along with O'Connor, likes the ideas of family (both cop and home), broken loyalties, and one good cop against a system that's lost its way but he doesn't come up with anything new or even explore the risk these men are taking to themselves, to their families, and to their partners that working with violent drug dealers might entail. By the climax, corruption hits the streets and people riot in every neighborhood but it really feels like "been there, seen that before" and it doesn¢t matter. That the final battle between good and bad is nothing more than a bar room fist-fight is also less than ideal. Director Gavin O'Connor uses his hand-held camera and shoots the movie in a dreary, cold looking blue which gives the movie some texture and realism, and Carnahan likes to throw the F-bomb around a lot and make things bloody but all this can only go so far.
The movie does have scenes that brim with high intensity and emotional effectiveness and that has everything to do with a solid cast. Norton is a slight-looking actor but like this summer in "The Incredible Hulk", he also shows you such forcefulness and intelligence behind the eyes and here he manages to inject some heat into every scene he's in. And Farrell digs deeper than the character is written. Jimmy is a villain, as exposed by one scene involving a baby and a curling iron, but Farrell also makes him human by giving him the grounded attitude of a family man. Voight displays some toughness and loyalty in a preachy role that he knocks out of the park. And a surprise is Noah Emerich, known mainly for supporting performances, most notably "The Truman Show", does strong work here as Ray's brother.
"Pride and Glory" has tension and good performances but it's not quite as gritty and electrifying as this year's "Street Kings" and you can tell it wants to be taken seriously but a "been there, seen that" feel coupled by a really disappointing ending make it hard to recommend. Joe Carnahan is still a talented guy and I'm really looking forward to his flick about Pablo Escobar, "Killing Pablo". I just hope he decides to expand into new territory in the future.
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