Movie and Film Reviews (MFR) Uncategorized Righteous Kill, reviewed by Acquired Taste

Righteous Kill, reviewed by Acquired Taste

Title: Righteous Kill
Year: 2008
Run Time: 100 mins
Genre: Action, Suspense, Police Drama
Cast: Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Carla Gugino, Curtis Jackson, John Leguizamo, Donnie Wahlberg.
Director: Jon Avnet

Plot:
The story begins with Turk (Robert De Niro), a career policeman, speaking into a camera and confessing to having committed 14 murders. Then the movies turns to Turk and his partner Rooster (Al Pacino) trying to bring down a drug dealer, Spyder (Curtis Jackson). A flashback of Turk’s shows him planting evidence to incriminate a murderer who gets away on a technicality. During an undercover bust of Spyder, things go wrong and Turk loses his temper and beats up a handcuffed Spyder and his lieutenant orders both of them to see a therapist. Meanwhile, a serial killer has surfaced who is knocking off scum and leaving a calling card and the police don’t seem too concerned to investigate the case at first due to the nature of the victims. Through the camera footage it becomes apparent that the killer is Turk. Also investigating this case are Detectives Karen Corelli (Carla Gugino), Perez ( John Leguizamo) and Riley (Donnie Wahlberg). They soon conclude that the killer is a cop and the suspicion narrows in on Turk.

“Where I come from it was either a gun and a badge or a hardhat and a hammer”

This plot had the potential to be a good movie but it just isn’t. The premise is basically a tough cop movie and it was well written (by Russell Gewirtz – Inside man) with some different directorial takes that put a spin on the story. It does get your attention at the beginning but that soon fades into frustration when you realize this story is going nowhere. And although the plot has an interesting twist towards the end, you’ll be bored to death before you get to it. It was exciting to hear that Pacino and DeNiro would be doing a movie together but not even the strong cast can save this movie. To put it plainly this movie is boring to watch. Nothing grabs you, nothing gives you reason to continue watching this movie.
I decided to look at some work by Jon Avnet (The War, Up Close & Personal, 88 minutes) yesterday and its a wonder this guy even finds work. I had to think back to 1991 when he did Fried Green Tomatoes to come up with a credible movie by the guy. Now I don’t normally use harsh words in describing an artist and I instead reserve such comments for their work but I’ll do it now; this is a bad director. The man botched up a credible plot with a talented cast, I don’t think there is any other way to describe him.

What works:
DeNiro & Pacino. This screen pairing is great. They do have some good dialogue together and it’s clear they work well together but their characters are stereotypical and flat.
The use of characters’ nicknames throughout the movie and not revealing who’s who till the end.

What doesn’t work:
DeNiro having a hot babe like Carl Gugino? Pleeease.
Unnecesary characters and subplots (read 50 cent, Johnny Leggs and Wahlberg) that do nothing for the plot.
You figure out the plot twist 30 minutes into the movie.

Who will enjoy this movie:
No one.

Must see? No. Must Have? No

My Score: 3.0 out of 10

“You don’t come become a cop because you wanna serve and protect, you join the force because they let you carry a gun a badge. Most people respect the badge, everyone respects the gun.”

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