It has been a while since I have written a movie review but I find it to be my civic duty this time. I am doing everyone who reads this a favor. This is a giant spoiler in hopes that none of you sacrifice an hour and a half of your lives that not only will you never get back, but you will be a lesser person for going through it, like myself. I was looking on TV Links to see if there were any new films, and saw it listed. When I clicked the link, it was no video camera in the theater action, it was a pristine clear copy of the film (showing they can hardly give this one a way)
It is definitely fair to say that there was a time when both Pacino and DeNiro (when billed together known as Decino), were relevant. They both put in some solid work early in there careers, whether it be Deniro and Scorsese's groundbreaking work in Mean Streets and Taxi Driver, or Pacino as the whiny bitch that was Serpico. I am shocked that somebody who backs films would deem there to be enough of an audience left to pair these two up (who have long become walking parodies of themselves). Obviously somebody in Hollywood did, and gave the film Righteous Kill a green light while simultaneously wolfing down a French Dip and Cobb Salad (gotta stay healthy........ this is Hollywood). There is no possibility that the guy who greenlit this film was not fat.
There was Michael Mann's Heat which has it's moments and the fact that Decino's screen time together was severely limited was a good directorial decision. It would be immoral to say that Mann has made any great directorial decisions. However, this time around, all decent directorial decisions, or decency in general is out the window.
The film opens with Deniro confessing to killing people and his narration of the different people is laced throughout the film, often being laid on top of shots of lowlifes being taken out. It is basically the same concept as Michael Douglass and Hal Holbrook in The Star Chamber. The law isn't gonna do it's job, so it needs to be done by lawmen working outside of the law. This opener is a giant red flag though. It is way too obvious to know right away that Deniro is the killer in the current climate of filmmaking where the "twist" is always lurking behind some corner (thank you M. Night Shyamalan for cementing this staple into modern film, you will truly go down in history as one of the greatest hacks ever).
The first sign of trouble enters frame about ten minutes in, and ,yes, I am talking about 50 cent. I am fascinated by the way that he is cast into films and not even encouraged to act. If you need to see this for yourself, rent Jim Sheridan's Get Rich or Die Trying. That reminds me, the naked all male battle in the prison shower that leaves 50 and Terrence Howard hogtied has yet to be featured on movieswithmalebondage.com.
50 plays a local coke dealer who owns a huge hip hop club and is constantly being watched by Decino. In other words he plays a slightly altered version of himself. In reality he is not slinging blow, he is slinging some of the worst music ever created. I know that he was really excited to work with Decino, most likely acting upon the phenomenon that has replaced penis pumps with shitty Scarface paraphenalia. I don't understand why twelve year olds are into Scarface. The movie does not hold up at all and has one of the worst soundtracks ever created.
After some shootouts, attempted suspense and sex scenes involving an overweight Deniro, we finally get to see the police chief. It is the one and only Brian Dennehy. I must admit that any film gets Dennehy points, especially if his dialogue is filthy. I personally think he should have gotten the oscar for his portrayal of Bobby Knight in A Season on The Brink. He keeps yelling at Decino that they are complete jerk offs and they better come up with something.
Next come the rival cops. John Leguizamo brilliantly reprises his role as John Leguizamo and they give him a partner who got a lucky break with this film. Leguizamo comes to the conclusion that the murderer has to be a cop and starts keeping his eye on Deniro. After many worthless lines of dialogue, droopy and hung over close ups of Pacino, and more pelvic pumping by Deniro, Leguizamo finally gets Pacino on board to watch them orchestrate a sting that will uncover Deniro as the culprit.
Of course, this sting involves Deniro, in a jogging suit, meeting up with 50 cent in the upstairs office of his club during closed hours. When Deniro show his gun, the officers bust in to intervene. Pacino points out that they have nothing and says he is on board to show what fools Leguizamo and his no name partner are.
Now here is when it all comes together. Left in the room are Decino and 50 cent. If the bad guy isn't Deniro, then it has to be.......yep you guessed it folks..
As soon as he is revealed as the killer, Pacino takes his gun puts it right to 50 cent's head and send his brains and body flying through a plate glass window and plummeting a story down. This was definitely the payoff of the film, and it was especially good since it is a two shot scene. One shot from where Pacino pulls the trigger and another from below, where 50's body flies over the camera. It has to be the funniest death since Sam Jackson decided to stand too close to the edge of the tank in Deep Blue Sea and gets mowed by a steroid fueled great white.
This leads to a standoff between Decino, where ,of course, Pacino takes a slug to the chest. I actually believe that if Pacino was to be killed by a bullet in real life, even one that blew his head into a thousand pieces, that he would have the superhuman ability to give a fifteen minute raspy speech before the life finally leaves his carcass. It just wouldn't make any sense for that not to happen, and there is no way this film was gonna end without that happening.
So at this point I look at the timer on the quicktime movie and see that it has about five minutes left, meaning no more time for twists, just find a way to get us out, and goddamn I can't believe I watched this.
The film ends with a few parting words form Deniro, as he is coaching a Bobby Sox team. After all, he may be a tough New Yawk cop who is a little rough around the edges, but he is a good friggin' guy uh?!!
I really don't know what was it about this script that made these guys sign on. I suppose if somebody said, "Hey I'll give you several million dollars and you get to insult Leguizamo and shoot 50 cent in the head" I wouldn't read the script either. It could also be the Charles Bronson way of making incredibly poor movies set in Europe so that filming could also double as a vacation. But then again, this movie takes place in New York. I really need to stop thinking about this right now.
A very big thumbs up for the 50 cent death scene and .......one word........Dennehy