Righteous Kill (Pacino and De Niro)- a review
Al Pacino and Robert De Niro have never acted alongside each other for an entire film. No, I do not count The Godfather series (as they were not in the same time zones) or Heat because their shared screentime was no longer than 8 minutes. You'd think then, the world would be jumping around like bunnies on speed once we found out that Righteous Kill brings these legendary actors together for the first time for a whole movie.
Turk (De Niro) and Rooster (Pacino) are cops and partners (naturally in the homicide department). Whilst their faith is lost in the law, someone starts killing all the criminals still walking the streets (after failed prosecution attempts). It is not long before it is suggested that "a cop killed them". De Niro watches baseball and nearly kills himself trying to sexually please his very adventurous girlfriend, Pacino plays chess a lot, 50 Cent spends literally the whole film "In da club", Donnie Wahlberg looks like Marky Mark and John Leguizamo er....whines.
Before I start on what could be a terribly damning rant, I'd like you to take a look at the image to your right. You'll notice that both Pacino and De Niro do not exactly look up for it. De Niro looks like he's ready to go fishing and Pacino looks like his hair has recently been raped by a gorilla. This makes 50 Cent's outfit all the more sillier as he was actually making an effort at the UK premiere. My point simply is that these two actors are getting on a bit. This photo is a prime example of this. They perhaps do not have the passion or drive they once did which is a great shame.
The movie begins with very exciting music to fast moving credits and a few shots of our heroes using guns in a firing range. They begin with pistols then move on to assault rifles (which I imagine come in very handy with arthritis). The scene gives you flashbacks to playing GTA : San Andreas and you expect the silly sized assault rifles to be replaced by bazookas or flame-throwers. Thankfully this does not happen and the pace is suddenly slowed to a crawl.
It is most odd to seem them both work together. Certainly it is clear that the characters have been "partners" for years and yet feel the need to call each other "partner" as a good reminder. I don't do that! If I go and meet my friend John, I do not insist on calling him John (or "my friend") continually.
Despite the gentle pace, it promises to be an interesting film. However it is completely let down by a final act. This movie would be nothing without a twist and the ending simply does not fulfil. The sad fact is: at one point of watching it (ten minutes before the end) I had a sudden realisation about what was happening and I was impressed. Unfortunately my realisation was incorrect and what I saw was ultimately more disappointing. There is something wrong when you are so close to making a clever movie and yet because of short-sightedness you simply do not see the potential in it.
I'll admit to looking forward to this release. Sadly it was a great disappointment. The fact that it could have so easily been a great deal better, angered me. Think of The Usual Suspects with no twist. Would it have been as entertaining? Well, that is the problem. This is a twist movie. It bases everything on the twist and the ending ultimately disappoints. I'll admit to liking some of the psychiatric interviews and the wisecracks from Pacino. Unfortunately it wasn't enough to save Righteous Kill.
2.5 out of 5