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  • Pride and Glory
    • Pride and Glory
    • Runtime:127 min
    • Release Date:2014-07-30 19:06:21
    • Director: Gavin O'Connor
    • Genres: Crime, Drama, Thriller
    • Studio:
MOVIE REVIEW:Pride and Glory
Auhtor:

   

I watched for the second time just to carefully count and tick off how
many times the F-word was used in the movie, and it came down to an
impressive 250, which is somewhat of an outstanding achievement in
scriptwriting, and a World Record in foul language over-use on screen.

For most part, the acting was very good, realistic, emotional, but it
was greatly spoiled by the dialogs in which every second word was the
F-word. And for this simple reason I would not recommend it for
watching to people who appreciate eloquence and good articulation, you
won't hear any well-spoken decency in this movie, it's all endlessly
flat foul.

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With a script that entered into production in 2001 Pride and Glory was
one of the most highly prized screenplays in Hollywood, with names like
Mark Wahlberg and Hugh Jackman attached to the leading roles. But
because of the attack on 11th September 2001 the idea of film about
dirty NYPD officers would have been in bad taste. It proposed until
2008 and had Ed Norton and Colin Farrell in the lead roles. So was it
worth the wait?

Pride and Glory tells the story of a family of Irish American men who
are members of the NYPD. Ray (Ed Norton) is a skilled investigator and
a plain clothes detective, whilst his brother-in-law Jimmy (Colin
Farrell) is a mid-ranking uniformed officer. The family seem close but
all have their problems, Ray is suffering from guilt of a previous case
gone wrong and his marriage falling apart. His brother Francis Jr.
(Noah Emmerich), a senior station chief, is having to support his wife
whom suffering from cancer and their father Francis Sr. (Jon Voight) is
a even more senior police officer and a borderline alcoholic. Only
Jimmy seems to have a strong family life. The family and officers are
called into action when four of Francis Jr. officers are killed in
action and all of them are colleagues of Jimmy. Ray is assigned the
case but soon discovers that it a much more complex case of a simple
shooting. Jimmy and his colleagues had been running amok within Francis
Jr.'s station as the man is struggling with his personal life. Jimmy is
a corrupt cop, selling drugs, robbing and acting like a paid assassin.
He uses violence and imitation to get revenge and retrieve money his
crew has lost. But Ray is slowly closing in on his brother-in-law and a
professional and personal conflict is about to arise.

Gavin O'Conner is an effective director, trying to make a gritty and
violence film about the NYPD. His effects are noble, he does not tone
down the violence and the physical poverty that some people would have
to live in. He films it in a slightly grey ting and uses hand-held
cameras very effectively, giving the film a realistic and almost
documentary style to it. There is also strong performances from Norton
and Farrell (though he is forced into angry mode for most of the film).
Voight is also pretty good throughout the film. But some of the
supporting cast members were weaker in comparison, particular Emmerich
who did not seem to match Norton or Farrell.

What makes the film not as strong as it should be is the script. It
should have been a simple straight-forward police-thriller and attempt
to be a update of the Al Pacino film Serpico. It attempted to be
realistic and could and should have shown how corrupt cops can work in
a modern setting and how other police officers would investigate them.
But the screenwriters of O'Conner and Joe Carnahan do two big problems:
first is that it's a bit unrealistic that a whole family this day and
age would all be cops and even more unlikely a senior father cop could
assign cases to his sons. In real life wouldn't the police authorities
split them up to ensure there is no favouritism? Second is the plot is
bogged down with too many sub-plots: it's noble of the writers to bring
about some extra character development, but there was too much that
detracts from the main plot of the film and some areas lead to no
where, like the journalist sub-plot. What the two writers could have
done was either cut out most of the sub-plots to make a tort film,
making the film longer, extend the sub-plots and made the film a bit
longer or really extend everything about the film and a make an
effective 'The Wire' type TV series. The film also suffers from so very
silly, unrealistic scenes like Ray and Jimmy clearing a bar and then
having a big fist fight. The dialogue too was weak, suffering from the
usual cop-film clichés we have all heard before. Finally the film also
drags a little in the beginning and goes a little silly in the end. It
was the middle part of the film which was the best.

There was potential in the film but it was not fully realised. It
needed some re-writes before it should have been made. But it is a
noble effort of film.

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Pride and Glory handles the difficult subject of rotten, murderous cops
on the take and on the hustle, and the conscientious cops who try to
take them on while not discrediting the force. It crunches the drama by
encapsulating all the action within one all-male family group, which
contains the character types, from venal through sloppy to pragmatic.
There's some interesting scenario research, with unusual camera angles
on New York City and its environs. However, the family stuff is dated
IMO, and tends to hark back to an earlier era; but, hey, perhaps the
New York cops are pretty traditional, how should I know? It took me
half an hour to even begin to understand what was happening in this
movie, in which the dialogue is roughly written and gruffly spoken —
sometimes is even in unsubtitled Spanish. I don't mind that
incomprehension, most of it disappeared, but I was still a bit confused
even at the end, which unlike other reviewers (commenters?) I will not
reveal.

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With a combined audio and music department of around 40 people, I could
not believe how poor the sound was in this film. Key dramatic moments
over-run by the sound of subway trains, like the godfather except with
no style. Cop sirens that sound boxy and dry in New York City? Huge
sound pre-laps, eg. the sound of telephones ringing 10 seconds before
you see them, that serve no artistic purpose

This is just the tip of the ice-berg. Scenes that should have been cut
out not because they are shocking but because they are laughably put
together, eg. the baby and the iron, and the seemingly un-choreographed
dust up in the Irish bar with really stupid music playing on the
internet juke box

Takes that seem to have been chosen because an actor stumbled over his
lines and therefore make the film grittier in some way, but actually do
not. I love Colin Farrell and even he comes across as lousy in this

Plus absolutely no suspense whatsoever

If like me, you like this genre of movie do yourself a big favour and
watch a film like Narc instead. Much better in every department

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