Written by Matt Goldberg
An hour into "Pride and Glory" and it's not difficult to see why New Line pushed the film back repeatedly. Just as I was considering asking for a rain check so I could leave and push back the remainder of the film till a later date (that day being about five years in the future at about two in the morning where I find myself channel surfing before stopping on TNT and wondering how the film ended before determining that I didn't care five years ago and as the head of a multi-national corporation specializing in the manufacturing of cars that run on the impoverished—also known as "rickshaws"—I don't care now and never will), magic happened. There's no reason to see "Pride and Glory" so I'll spoil the glorious moment that's worth seeing and will hopefully end up on YouTube in the near future: Colin Farrell almost irons a baby.
Why would Colin Farrell almost iron an infant? Well, you see, he's a corrupt cop. He's Vic Mackey if Mackey were totally uninteresting, uncharismatic, and unconvincing as a person existing in the real world. Farrell is Jimmy Egan and he's married into the cop family of the Tierneys with their physically and emotionally scarred son Raymond (Edward Norton) and their compromised and struggling son Francis (Noah Emmerich). The film wants to play into a notion of family loyalty vs. the honor and duty of the law as Raymond and Francis end up investigating the murder of four cops which leads back to Jimmy. But the relationship between these men feels purely coincidental. Jimmy isn't a truly a brother to Raymond and Francis but merely an acquaintance. It's an absence of emotion that borders on the bizarre since Jimmy and Francis should have a close relationship seeing as Jimmy is a cop at the precinct run by Francis. Instead, we get a laughable climactic fist-fight between Jimmy and Raymond who have had maybe ten lines of dialogue between them for the entire film.
Raymond, Jimmy, and Francis are all shells of characters that are constantly undermined by a plot with no momentum and even less energy. Raymond is looking for redemption, Francis is looking to do what's right without sacrificing his career, and Jimmy's just in it for the money. I know who these characters are and what they want but I never once found myself able to care because nothing in "Pride and Glory" flows naturally. It feels more like a half-assed network cop drama without commercials and destined for cancellation. The character arcs intersect awkwardly and their subplots feel like distractions rather than shading. It's all very safe, familiar, and scared to tread ground that a show like "Hill Street Blues" walked fearlessly almost thirty years ago. There's nothing in "Pride and Glory" that you haven't seen done before and done better.
Except when Colin Farrell almost irons a baby. In trying to track down the lead which could tie him to the murders, Farrell threatens to iron a baby in order to make its parents cough up some information on the lead's whereabouts. It's horribly out of place and in no way convincing but I've never seen a film where a character threatened to iron a baby. In a film with Edward Norton, Noah Emmerich, and even Colin Farrell who impressed me earlier this year with "In Bruges", I wish there was something else to acclaim but the awkwardness of almost ironing an infant was the only memorable moment of this drab, unimaginative, and clumsy police drama.
Rating ----- F
No Pride, No Glory - Written by Ray Carsillo
I had the opportunity to catch an advanced screening of New Line Cinema’s Pride and Glory. It seems every year or so, Hollywood feels it necessary to come out with a dark, gritty, cop drama. Some are triumphs of the medium and hold your attention to the very last second. Others make you want to smash a beer bottle over the head of the director as you check your watch every ten minutes counting down to about when the movie will finally wrap up. Pride and Glory is, unfortunately, more the latter than the former.
Four New York City cops are dead after a routine drug bust goes horribly wrong. With a confirmed cop-killer on the loose, the NYPD rallies to form a task force with the sole purpose of finding and hunting down this thug.
The man to lead this force is Detective Ray Tierney (Edward Norton), as assigned by the Chief of Detectives, his father, Francis (Jon Voight). Ray reluctantly takes the case as the men who were shot down served directly under his brother, Francis Jr. (Noah Emmerich), and alongside his brother-in-law, Jimmy (Colin Farrell), and feels they have more reason than he does to get involved.
Regardless, Ray takes the case. As Ray delves deeper into the evidence, he begins to realize the clues are pointing to the unthinkable: there was an inside man on the force who tipped off the drug dealers and, even more shockingly, his brother and brother-in-law might have had something to do with it. As the questions mount, Ray and his family must choose between their loyalty to the force and their loyalty to each other…
With a star-studded cast and a premise that sounds enticing, you expect so much more from this film and end up looking for excuses to leave the theatre when it fails to deliver. The characters are poorly fleshed out with many random scenes thrown into the movie futilely attempting to add depth to characters that are lacking it from the opening credits. These extra scenes make this movie 45 minutes longer than it should be and have you looking at your watch more often than at the screen (Thank god for the glow in the dark feature).
Add in a back story that all the characters know, but never explained properly to the audience, and you end up with a convoluted, disjointed story, that is barely watchable. Instead of trying to make one solid 90 minute movie, the parallel plot lines make it seem like they made two 60 minute movies and spliced them together so it could be released in the theatres.
The only saving grace of the movie is that there are a handful of really intense scenes where you catch yourself on the edge of your seat. The acting is great, the dialogue is memorable, and they draw out emotion from you like a movie should. It is such a shame that these scenes are so few and far between the rest of the refuse that constitutes this film.
I will also say that the actors did what they could with the lackluster script. Asking Colin Farrell to play an Irish cop isn’t much of a stretch though and this movie makes itself Noah Emmerich’s eighth role as a police officer. Jon Voight is a pro and been playing these fatherly figures for years now and Edward Norton is part of the Hollywood A-list so anything that has “drama” in the category will work to his talents. The only thing they did right with this movie was get people who are comfortable with these kinds of roles, but there was nothing they could do with this horrible piece.
Instead of Pride and Glory, this movie should be called Shame and Failure. This is a sorry, failed attempt at a Departed rip-off. If you are a glutton for 2 hours and 5 minutes of boredom, it will be in theatres everywhere October 24th, 2008.