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Pride and Glory (2008) Director Gavin O’Connor 9 November 2008

Posted by jordanfarley in Uncategorized.
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Another week another film that received a critical drubbing from almost every reviewer I have even a modicum of respect for, but on this occasion they’re all wrong. Pride and Glory is a brutal and engaging corrupt cop thriller which will appeal to the macho in all of us and then some.

Ed Norton stars as Ray Tierney, an officer for the NYPD who is appointed to run a taskforce by his father (John Voight) to investigate the deaths of four police officers under the command of Jimmy Egan (Colin Farrell) and Tierney’s older brother Francis (Noah Emmerich). As Ray gets closer and closer to the truth he learns just how deep corruption in the NYPD goes and must decide on where his loyalties lie, family or justice.

As scripted by Joe Carnahan the tone of the film is very similar to his directorial debut Narc. The corrupt cop tale is hardly original and it is probably this films biggest weakness, but Carnahan and O’Connor manage to construct a film with enough momentum to just about keep you entertained for its two hour plus run time. The first half of the film is significantly better than the second as the two writers make several ludicrous choices in the latter half, presumably in an attempt to inject some originality into the story, but if you buy into it it’s hard to find much to dislike.

Norton is solid as Ray, not American History X spectacular but it’s no Red Dragon. Farrell tends to overplay his role a little, though to be fair the script does call for him to play a borderline psychopath. The standout of the cast however was Noah Emmerich. Excellent in Little Children a few years back, Emmerich is once again given the chance to shine in a supporting role, but the role with easily the largest emotional arc in the whole film. He is even given a subplot involving his wife who is dying of cancer which is surprisingly affecting for this type of film.

Pride and Glory is a narrative driven film and, for the most part, it is the twists and turns that will keep you entertained. O’Connor’s direction is generally OK but the handheld technique employed in several scenes here is far to disorientating to create any other effect in the viewer other than nausea. Overall worth a watch if you like your films macho and brutal, but offers nothing original to this tired genre.

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