Pride and Glory
The buzz around Pride and Glory was pretty bad after New Line decided to push the film’s release date back from March 14th this year. People assumed the movie was crap, that the studio was embarrassed of it. I believed these rumors. I did. Even after I read Colin Farrell’s attempt to shed more light on the situation. He had this to say about it all:
“There’s this rumor going around that [Pride and Glory has been bumped] because it’s a mess or it’s a really bad film,” he began. “I feel the need to kind of speak up, not from my own end but genuinely for Gavin O’Connor because he wrote and directed it. It’s just a really really strong piece, but I think New Line lost the bollocks on The Golden Compass…and they literally don’t have enough money to market things.“
All that means to me is New Line didn’t see this piece as something worth investing in. Still, my blind loyalty to Ed Norton convinced me to check it out. I’m glad I did.
The story centers around an Irish American family that’s generations deep in police honor. The patriarch of the family, Francis Sr. (Jon Voight), is a drunk, steeped in the tradition of protecting his own, no matter the cost. His two sons, Francis Jr. (Noah Emmerick) and Ray (Edward Norton), followed in their father’s footsteps and joined the force. The two have a brother-in-law, also a cop, named Jimmy (Colin Farrell). Ray is coaxed out of semi-retirement working on missing persons cases (he quit real field work after taking a bullet in the face during a questionable police shootout) to work on a task force investigating the murder of four police officers. What he uncovers, is the shady dealings of several cops on the force, including his brother-in-law Jimmy. Things become complicated when Jimmy kills a drug dealer with Ray’s gun, and it’s on Ray to keep up the blue wall of silence.
The movie is tough as shit. Unfortunately, tough as shit doesn’t exactly mean great film (remember Running Scared with Paul Walker?) Colin Farrell is terrifying in his role as the cop who thinks he’s God. The script allows him to be scarier than the drug dealers he tortures and kills. At one point, he comes inches away from holding a hot iron to an infants face to get information out it’s father. The film is co-written and directed by Gavin O’Connor, who knows his stuff…at least when it comes to Irish police officers in the slums of New York. The feel was as authentic as Scorsese’s The Departed. However, while it felt real, it wasn’t as tight as it should have been. The script was cliched to a fault, and there’s not much in it that really sets it apart from other crime genre flicks. Norton was solid, like usual, but didn’t seem to give it that extra umph he’s shown in other films. Parts of the plot become boring, and repetitive, but for the most part O’Connor keeps the attention of his audience. The plot jumps the shark in the last 10 minutes of the film when Ray and Jimmy come head to head in a confusing display of machismo. Despite some deficiencies, this is a compelling crime drama that compels some interesting introspection.