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Righteous Kill is one of those films that a lot of people have just
been looking forward too because it has two of the greatest actors of
our generation, Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino. I must add how I love in a
lot of the TV ad's they're saying this is their first film together,
true, it's the first time they are real co-stars together, but they've
had two films already. Anyways, back onto the film, Robert and Al are
both incredible actors, we know that, Robert is actually my favorite
actor, so naturally I was looking forward to seeing this movie, I hate
to say this, oh, man, I hate to say this, but this film was an utter
disappointment. I'm not saying this was a bad movie, but this was a sad
and very predictable thriller that could have been done with more
average actors, Al and Robert are above this script and don't pull in
their best performances due to that. The story is very mediocre
compared to some of these terrific actors who looked so bored
throughout the move.
Turk and Rooster are partners on the police force, having experienced over 30 years of constant bad guys going free, seeing the innocent's blood shed, and all the injustice in the world, they've almost lost it. Suddenly, there are murders involving the criminals they have arrested, along with younger officers, they try to figure out what is going on, but when one of the cops brings up that it might be a vigilante situation, Turk and Rooster are hesitant. Maybe they're hiding some secrets of their own.
Righteous Kill, don't get me wrong, it's worth the look, especially to see these cinematic legends on screen together, but like I said, for the script they were given, this was way too average and they are above it. I even hate to say it, this was very predictable if you've seen a lot of these thriller movies of today. Not to mention, I think Al Pacino, this must have been his third movie where he has worn that same leather jacket, I mean is it just me, or does anyone else notice this? Over all, it's not a bad movie, but it could have just been done with average actors, instead of all the hype that has been around it because of the actors. Just don't be fooled, it's a typical thriller, nothing special, I suggest waiting for the rental.
Turk (Robert De Niro) and Rooster (Al Pacino) are longtime NYC police
partners, in this Jon Avnet thriller that has them trying to stop an
unknown serial killer, a person who leaves a poem at the scene of each
crime. Victims are law-breakers who were freed on legal technicalities.
Two other cops, played by John Leguizamo and Donnie Wahlberg, become
suspicious of the investigation, and this hampers the efforts of Turk
The script on which the film is based is rather poor. The setup is muddled; none of the characters are especially sympathetic, and secondary characters are not well defined. Further, "Righteous Kill" is not that much different from other serial killer or urban crime films.
The mood here is dark, and the tone is rather cynical. Characters go out of their way to telegraph their toughness by using lots of "hard" language. There's an edginess to the characters, and that's okay. But I could have wished for a character with some degree of softness. That would have provided much needed balance to the overall tonal savagery.
Without a doubt, the film's best element is the acting. There's not a weak performance in the bunch. Of course, the focus is on De Niro and Pacino. This is really their film. And it's their camaraderie, their back and forth playful banter, that makes the film worth watching. Production design and costumes are credible. Color cinematography is generally dark, consistent with the story's mood.
In spite of a weak script, "Righteous Kill" does provide some good plot misdirection that will leave viewers unsure as to the story's outcome. But the film's main virtue is the casting of De Niro and Pacino, two contemporary screen legends whose performances here are quite good.
It is what you would expect from Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. They've
been doing these kind of roles for the past 30 years of their acting
life. Applause, but no surprise there.
The film itself was not a blast. Totally predictable plot, stereotype good cop bad cop, drug dealers, bad neighborhood were huge minus to this movie. Lack of character development made the film implausible and some parts inconvicible no matter how great the acting was. Finally, the director's abuse of dramatic music without much happening throughout the film slowly eats away your patience.
Six out of ten is what I will give, 3 from Al Pacino and 3 from Robert De Niro.
One word, no, actually, two words to describe this film: TOTAL Disappointment (obviously for Robert Deniro and Al Pacino). If you're a fan of these two actors, and films like Heat, I recommend you NOT to see this film. And if you do, expect the worst (maybe that way you won't be that disappointed). The acting was sad but the worst part: the roles they play, they don't fit with their age. Tell me, how can a 68 year old or a 65 year old be a cop, lift weights, try to get in a fight with 30ish year old guys, jump a fence and not break both knees?? It doesn't fit, it doesn't look cool, it looks ridiculous and disappointing! I mean c'mon, learn from actors like Anthony Hopkins, he is 70 and still does films that kick ass like Fracture. He doesn't go running, fighting or anything like that, in the contrary, he does films that FIT HIS AGE! Anyways, this is just my opinion...
FINALLY! DeNiro! Pacino! Together! For more than one scene! I couldn't
wait. I'm also happy to say that, while the film won't be winning any
Oscars, it isn't bad by any means, and is certainly an improvement over
Pacino and director Jon Avnet's last film, 88 Minutes. Avnet is growing
as a filmmaker, and has learned from past mistakes. Righteous Kill is
an acceptable mystery film, and of course, features two great
performances from two of the greatest of all time.
Righteous Kill, despite having the two leads that it does, is really a director's film, and Jon Avnet cloaks the film in a black blanket of mystery very well. While the main plot twist of the film (and oh, there are many of them) is sort of obvious, the fact that there's more to it than that really helps the film and saves it from oblivion.
What I liked most about the film, however, was the casting of DeNiro in a role Pacino would normally play (the hotheaded cop who just can't seem to keep his mouth shut or stop cursing), and Pacino in a role DeNiro would normally play (the reserved, yet silently intense friend). The film is split up into two parts, each showcasing the talents of one of the legends. Unfortunately, I can't really describe the performances in a deep way without coming close to spoilers, but rest assured, both are excellent. John Leguizamo is a nice addition as a hot headed detective at odds with DeNiro, and Carla Gugino as the eye candy was not a mistake by any means. I have no comment on the inclusion of 50 Cent in this film. Thankfully, he doesn't have a ton of screen time.
The script of the film, on paper, isn't really good, but there's a few techniques that really work on screen, such as the main characters' nicknames, and the feeling that almost everyone in the film is bad. I definitely like Avnet a little more now. DeNiro and Pacino share a wealth of screen time and have a lot of meat to chew on as actors, especially DeNiro, who turns up the intensity and the New York accent (it's a little stronger here than it normally is). While the film won't go down as legendary, I think every fan of both actors will be pleased and will smile at numerous moments just because these two are playing off each other so often, and so well.
My complaints lie with the emotional feel of the film, which I felt wasn't strong enough. I wanted to shed tears in the end, but for some reason, I couldn't. I won't say the acting in the climax could have been stronger, but had it been done in a different way, I might have liked it a bit more. All in all, Righteous Kill is not a bad film, as it managed to keep my attention and hold me in suspense for it's duration without making me feel frustrated. It definitely requires your full attention, and may even require a couple of viewings.
'Righteous Kill' not only disappoints, it's an epic failure. And I mean
wanna-punch-everyone-involved failure. Re-watching that one petite
coffee-house scene with De Niro and Pacino in 'Heat' will jolt more
electricity into you than this whole waste of celluloid. 'Righteous
Kill' is a movie that actually accomplishes to have both De Niro and
Pacino hand in a performance so far under their usual level, I'm still
in disbelief over it. A healthy suggestion: avoid all films by this
untalented hack not worthy of the title 'director'. For example, he
also made Pacino look bad in the stinker '88 minutes', a
straight-to-cable thriller meets 'Phone Booth'.
Shouldn't these two legends make use of their golden years to partake in interesting movies, why doesn't Pacino make another Lumet (see: Dog Day Afternoon) or why not team up again with Mann again (Heat). Surely they have the power to pull the tablecloth toward them when it comes to getting roles in prestigious projects? Why they rather star in a movie that kids 'you can lick my balls any time' is beyond me.
If you think I'm being too dramatic, go see for yourself but don't come crying to me when you get your heart ripped out and served on a platter as well...
Surely with a movie that stars both Al Pacino & Robert de Niro, you
just can't go wrong? Both are legends of the big screen, and both are
lauded for making legendary roles their own.
Yet sadly with "Righteous Kill" it just doesn't pay off. It's a thriller around a serial killer of various nefarious characters (pimps, drug dealers etc). The film begins with a confession by de Niro (a cop) that he is the killer, and we are led on a journey as he and his partner (Pacino) fight off another pair of cops who are suspicious that the trail leads to de Niro.
Having starred together in Heat, you'd expect some high standards, but for some reason the chemistry here just doesn't work and at points you think they really aren't interested. Fellow actors aren't too strong either, and much of the action seems to be just going with the flow. The storyline is interesting enough (with a good finale) but never seems to grip you through much of the film.
Overall, its a disappointment and you expect better from a film that has de Niro & Pacino together in it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
So many people are wondering, on this thread, WHY do some great actors, as Pacino and De Niro, accept such compromises. I must confess that today, at the press viewing, most of my colleagues, the best movie critics from Romania, were remarking about the same thing. Of course, we know why they do it - not necessarily by greed. They have contracts, obligations, all kind of sundry reasons to accept such routine work in movies with zero value.
The script here is very awkwardly written, with a messy structure and a total lack of dramatism. Even worse, it's completely predictable. The intended "false lead" meant to deliberately confuse the audience is so transparent, that everybody can guess from the first fifteen minutes the so-called "theater coup" in the end - and so, while waiting for it, friends and neighbors, what a bore! Limp pacing, flaccid storytelling, an absolute impotence in building-up the suspense... And as if this wasn't enough, the final scene is impossibly prolonged, diluted and tacky...
By the way, did you know that even great artists like De Niro and Pacino can act BADLY? In this all-over failure, they are outright unbearable! Their characters are simplistic, uninteresting, shallow, so the poor big stars quickly fall into what became their worst mannerisms - Bob De Niro, mainly, so full of grimaces and squinting... Even Jack Nicholson, in "The Bucket List", was an itty bitty better! A piece of advice: if you really HAVE to view this, carry on a thermos full of hard bitter strong coffee. AND ear-plugs, not to hear the snoring all around you.
On this decade,we have mostly seen legendary actors Al Pacino and Robert De Niro on mediocre or bad movies,where they are just worried on winning some more money.Righteous Kill is another movie in which these two actors are wasted.This is a very bad thriller which commits the fatal sin of being boring.It seems that director Jon Avnet and screenwriter Russell Gewirtz said : "We have De Niro and Pacino.We do not need a good story".That was wrong.The story from this movie is completely hollow and full of plot holes,not to mention it is painfully predictable.Come on,I predicted that ending like 30 minutes after the movie had started.Plus,this is a kind of story which has been seen too many times.On the supporting cast,there are good actors who are wasted (John Leguizamo,Donnie Wahlberg,the great Brian Dennehy and the underrated Carla Gugino).This movie was completely boring because it lacked of dynamism.In other words,everything felt pretty static.Righteous Kill is a very crappy cop flick which tells a story which does not produce any interest and is totally predictable.It is obvious that Pacino and De Niro have lost the interest in their careers.
This film is appalling. De Niro is 65, Pacino is 68, Dennehey is 70.
Serious actors who have all done some brilliant work in their time
labouring under the delusion that they can act 'young'. And of course
they can't. It is embarrassing. Clint used to be the master(?) of this
genre, Harrison Ford has had a shot at it - but to see actors of the
calibre of De Niro and Pacino having a go is dreadful; surely they did
not need the money... De Niro's love interest is in her 30s and looks
it - despite having had enough botox to sink a ship. In the real world
De Niro can pull a mid 30s woman because of his money and power, but as
a humble detective? I think not. There are mild sex scenes - spoiler
alert? - and they make you wince. Even the basic stuff like, er,
movement is cut to protect the guilty; starting with a full body shot
and then cutting to upper body only. UK readers of this comment over 50
might recall Dixon of Dock Green and how, as he aged, there were less
full body walking shots and the 'running' looked a bit silly. There are
loads of buddy movies out there, often with the hard nosed lieutenant,
and this does not begin to compete. Because the leads are too old. I am
all for 'willing suspension of disbelief', but Dennehey (at 70)
threatening a 68 year old about his pension, while looking like an
extra from Cocoon? It does not work. This movie is all about 'lazy' and
trading on reputations. I think Pacino is a genius - I watched Carlito
last night, De Niro is brilliant - I think 'Ronin' and "I ambushed you
with a coffee cup", Dennehey has done wonderful work - the first Rambo
movie for example. In this film they are assuming that nobody will
notice that they are all 20 years too old. They are wrong and I find
this a bit disrespectful.
And all the above is before beginning to consider the plot. Which is lazy and formulaic - if you make it to the final 'twist', you will be neither surprised nor care. This film is aimed simply at the 'fan' market - those who will get excited at Pacino and De Niro in the same film together a la 'Heat'. But 'Heat' was a brilliant film, and this is but a piece of lazy self indulgent nonsense.
I am not a 'fan' of any artist per se; I am a 'fan' of their serious work. If they chose to disrespect me - in the way that the three male leads here have done - I feel that I have very little choice but to disrespect them for my part.
Pacino has had a dabble with Shakespeare - his Shylock was excellent, I have not seen his Richard - I would love to see him do Lear. I do not need to see him put on his leather jacket again. Not at 68.
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