Every Sunday I take my girlfriend, Amanda, to a movie. (Her father Brian often comes as well. Dude knows movies.) I decided I just as well start letting you know what I thought. This is the first Movie Review Monday.
This weeks move: Pride and Glory
I did not particularly wish to see this movie, but Amanda reminded me that it had Edward Norton, so we went. I really wish I had talked her into catching the 3-D version of The Nightmare Before Christmas that was showing.
This movie is about a family of cops and how they deal with a scandal. This movie takes great pains to remind you that it is a cop movie. There is some alcoholism, a divorce, they’re Irish, they swear a lot, and they spit clichés about protecting their own.
I don’t mind a large amount of bad words in a movie. A lot of my favorites use them quite liberally. But in Pride and Glory the swearing seems to occur because they couldn’t figure out how to write decent dialogue. F’ing is said all the time, and it doesn’t seem natural. It’s just there. During what one assumes they wanted to be an intense moment, the phrase from which the movie gets its title is ruined by the word “f’ing” (pride and f’ing glory, like the word somehow gave it more meaning).
Norton is good, but he could only do so much. There were several side plots that were completely unnecessary that made the movie drag on forever. These little parts of the movie seemed to have no place in it. It runs just over two hours, but it felt like three.
The ending did not make sense to me. It’s not that I didn’t understand what happened, I didn’t understand why it had to happen as it did. There had to be a better way. There was a cool fight, but why? Something with a hostage thrown in. The portion at the end that made the most sense was a riot (portrayed as some form of a race riot), and that isn’t saying much.
Maybe the horrible camera work at the beginning just turned me off to the rest of the movie. It seems like any time there is unconvincing action or emoting, the camera shakes more and more these days. If four cops dying isn’t enough to let you know that something serious is happening, the nausea you feel from the camera work will get the point across.
Perhaps if they hadn’t there was a revelation left for the second half of the movie it would have been better. Maybe they didn’t have to show all the bad guys being absolutely bad from the beginning. At least they could have cut out the little side stories that were irrelevant.
Not everyone may dislike this movie as much as I did, but I thought it was just bad. If you want to see a good cop movie that deals with corruption, rent The Departed. If you own or have already seen it, watch it again and save some money. If you insist on going to the theater, Body of Lies was pretty good. Want to see Norton as a cop? Watch Red Dragon. If you read this and decide to go anyway, don’t say I didn’t warn you when at least 12 lines make you cringe (conservative estimate).
Rating: Catch it on cable at 3:00 a.m. in 4 years.
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