Righteous Kill

Dir: Jon Avnet
Star: Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson, Carla Gugino

If much is made of the first feature to fully pair De Niro and Pacino [they only had a couple of scenes together in Heat, the result never lives up to expectations: the film instead takes an awfully long way to reach a twist that I'd guessed inside about ten minutes. It starts with a grainy videotaped confession in which Turk (De Niro) admits to having shot dead fourteen people over his career as an NYPD detective; people who would otherwise have escaped justice. The movie then unfolds around the police search for the killer, spearheaded by Turk himself and his partner Rooster (Pacino) - it becomes clear that the perpetrator is someone on the force, but who exactly is it?

Normally I'd want to expand on the storyline a little further, but I can't be bothered. After I spotted where this was going, I then had to wait the rest of the running-time for the script to catch up, and provide the 'revelation' I knew was coming all along. Between this and 88 Minutes, it seems that Avnet must have some compromising pictures of Bobby, since there's no other way to explain his presence here. Neither Oscar-winner has exactly covered themselves in glory with their recent script choices: I'm hard-pushed to think of anything worthwhile either man has done since Y2K. This won't redeem that reputation, and most of the supporting characters are even less impressive. Fitty Cent plays a drug-dealing club-owner - well, that's a stretch - and Gugino is Turk's, and there's not really any other word for it, fuck-buddy. Add dialogue which appears to have been stoled from Tarantino's trash-can [the drug subtext in Underdog?] and there's very little here to justify your attention or time. Taxi Driver, it isn't.

[June 2009]

Kill me *now*
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