Friday, September 19, 2008

Righteous Kill: Unholy Device.

Pacino-DeNiro, DeNiro-Pacino.
The Ultimate Paring, you know what I mean-o?
But sadly their day in the sun has now passed.
And movies like this come across as half-assed.

Okay, enough poetry, let's get into it. This wasn't a bad story but it was a horrible presentation, thanks to a poorly-thought-out cinematic device that really shouldn't have been used.

DeNiro and Pacino are cops, and partners, in this film that finally-FINALLY!- has them sharing not just top billing, but substantial screen time. The movie starts out with DeNiro's character, on tape, confessing to a bunch of murders.


IMMEDIATELY, we know he didn't do it, right? Otherwise, why watch any further? This film is a cops-and-robbers drama. Cops-and-robbers dramas are essentially games: you, the movie-goer, have to figure out whodunnit before they tELL you whodunnit at the end! So when they start off with a confession, we KNOW that guy didn't do it!

You see the problem here?

If they had ommitted that device, or even if they had introduced it halfway into it instead of as the opening credits rolled, they'd have really had a winner here.

I mean, I'll be honest, seeing DeNiro and Pacino onscreen together at this stage in their careers is a little anti-climatic. It would have been so much more fun to see them co-starring in a Scorcese film ten years ago! (And hey, Scorcese, it'd still be fun... just in case you're reading this...) But this is what we get, too little too late.

But their performances are pretty good, to tell the truth. DeNiro is DeNiro, and Pacino didn't do that weird screaming thing he does in a lot of his films, so hey, I was happy. Don Wahlberg and John Leguizamo are also good in their roles. Carla Gugino plays an adequate dirty-girl love interest, 50 Cent plays 50 Cent with another name- nothing here to complain about in casting or acting.

The story is a solid story, nothing groundbreaking, but a decent gritty-city catch-the-serial-killer suspense story.

But that DEVICE- it took away all the suspense. You had two choices here for the "who" in "whodunnit" and right off the bat, we know who DIDN'T dunnit. Way to ruin it for me.

I give this a 6, for good acting, a decent cast, and a noble effort. They got a 6 and my $9. They ought to be happy.

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