We've all seen plenty of movies about police corruption and while it's not necessary to avoid this storyline altogether, it should be avoided if there's absolutely nothing new or interesting brought to the table. Today we even have another new movie that deals with a similar issue (dirty cops) — but in a compelling way. I really enjoy Edward Norton's work, and I wanted to give Pride and Glory a chance for his sake. But while he does a fine job in the film, he can't save it from being a rote, disappointing knockoff of many movies to have come before it.
Norton plays Ray Tierney, whose whole family — including his father Francis Sr. (Jon Voight), his brother Francis Jr. (Noah Emmerich), and his brother-in-law Jimmy Egan (Colin Farrell) — is involved in the NYPD. Ray begins the investigation of a case involving slain cops and as he digs deeper, signs begin pointing him toward his own fellow officers and worse — his own brother and brother-in-law. Soon the family is torn over whether to go public with the truth about the case which would destroy careers (including Francis Jr.'s, while his wife is battling cancer), and the overall reputation of the NYPD. For some of my thoughts on all this, read more.
Edward Norton puts in a good-faith effort here and he's always a relief to see on the screen instead of most of the others (though Colin Farrell does well as a fairly one-note thug type). Jon Voight is well-cast as the aging, alcoholic family man at the head of this cop family, but Noah Emmerich appears to be incapable of keeping up in the heavy, dramatic scenes he's given.
There's one horrifying scene that really does seem to be shockingly violent just for the sake of being shocking and violent, and most of the time I had to roll my eyes at what seems to be a movie about little boys trying to act tough. One of the most intense conflicts of the movie is settled by, literally, a fistfight. By that point, the movie is nearing its end and the audience is hoping for more than this. Soon after the fistfight, everything wraps up rather neatly for this family of cops caught up in a dangerous mess, so while they must be relieved, we're left wondering why we went through the whole rigmarole in the first place.
Photos courtesy of Warner Bros.