A family's moral codes are tested when Ray Tierney investigates a case that reveals an incendiary police corruption scandal involving his own brother-in-law. For Ray, the truth is revelatory, a Pandora's Box that threatens to upend not only the Tierney legacy but the entire NYPD.
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A family of police officers - patriarch, two sons, and a son-in-law - deals with corruption in a precinct in Washington Heights. Four officers die in an ambush at a drug dealer's apartment. It's brother Francis's precinct, so when the investigation led by brother Ray finds hints of police corruption, there's pressure to close ranks and save Frankie's career. Dad, a police brass, promises Ray that he and Frankie can clean things up, and Ray should focus on catching the drug dealer who killed the cops. Meanwhile, brother-in-law Jimmy, a hothead and an enforcer, is visited at home by a lowlife. Is Jimmy involved in the corruption? Where can this take the family? Written by
Standard police corruption saga that is fine but you've seen it before elsewhere and seen it better
The Tierney family is a family of cops across the generations with cops even married into the family. When a NYPD officer is killed in a violent drug-related shootout, Ray Tierney is asked by his father to be part of the task force dedicated to finding out who it was who killed one of their own. Ray agrees as the unit affected is led by his brother Francis and includes his brother-in-law Jimmy. With Ray searching the streets for the truth, Francis already knows more than him as his men are involved in activities outside the law, using their roles within the police as cover. Everyone wants to close the matter but not everyone wants the truth to come out in doing so.
The release of Pride and Glory was delayed and the suggestion reason was its similarity in tone and broad theme to We Own the Night. I'm not sure whether this is true or not but I will question whether it was necessary to delay this film if the aim was that it would avoid comparison with other films or feeling like it is something the viewer has seen before. I question this because the film's biggest failing is that we have seen it all before and it doesn't really bring much beyond the star names to justify me being excited about seeing it again. This is not to say it is awful (although some have) but just that it is very familiar and very "sturdy" sturdy being a quality one looks for in furniture rather than films. Thankfully the film doesn't keep the "corruption" in the cupboard for very long because to suggest it is a mystery would be an insult to the viewer, who can pretty much see where the film is heading about 90 minutes before it gets there.
With many stories it is hard to plough a new furrow so one does find that often films have a familiar narrative and that this is not a problem. The thing is to draw the viewer in despite having seen it before or perhaps knowing where it is going make them hope for different, make them care about the characters you put the fact that this is a film with an ending to the back of your mind. Pride and Glory doesn't manage to do this though and it surprised me considering the actors involved. The problem is not really with them though but with the material, which has too many characters but too little development of them. Norton seems a bit lost in this but still does turn in a solid performance. Likewise Farrell is good and it only further highlights how much of a waste it is not to give them more to work off individually and together. Voight and Emmerich add to this but again neither has the material to really do good work with so, although nobody is "bad" nobody really impresses either. O'Connor does an OK job as director but doesn't get much urgency or emotion into it although this is the result of failing to do the same as writer.
Pride and Glory is a solid but wholly unremarkable film that is distracting but unmemorable. It feels old and dated despite still being in the cinema and I imagine this will only be worse when it arrives on television in about five years time. The names involved are impressive but nobody can really deliver what they are able to because the material is just not there in the depth they require. Not a "bad" film by any means, just one that is hard to get excited about or shake the feeling that you've seen it done better elsewhere.
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