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Starring: Edward Norton, Colin Farrell, Jon Voight, Noah Emmerich

Director: Gavin O’ Connor

Screenplay: Joe Carnahan, Gavin O’ Connor

Cinematography: Declan Quinn

Original Score: Mark Isham

Running Time: 130 Mins.

Edward Norton provides something of a stamp of quality, unless of course he’s obligated to make a pap film (see The Italian Job), and even then his reluctant pantomime villainy is the highlight. So here we have what has been described by many a critic as a film pitched somewhere between Scorcese’s excellent Oscar winning The Departed, and the not so good We Own The Night. In truth the best comparison I would give is that of Narc. Sharing both a corrupt cop plot and a frantic almost documentary style of direction, one that Bourne also adopted albeit in a much more ‘polished’ way. This it would seem is not coincidental seeing as screen-writer Joe Carnahan also wrote and directer the superior Narc.  

The plot as it is, involves much corruption amongst a family of NYPD cops, four low level officers are slain during what on the surface appears to be a run of the mill raid gone wrong but on further investigation all is not what it seems and investigating officer Ray (Norton) along with brother Fran (Emmerich) become embroidelled in step-brother Jimmy’s (Farrell) less than honourable endeavours involving drug dealers and many a low-life. Overseeing the ensuing chaos is Dad Jon Voight, who seems to be drunk in the vast majority of his scenes.

The central trio shine and are simply the only thing that make this worth watching, lacking the polish of this years other very similarly themed film Street Kings, Pride & Glory succeeds in presenting us with yet another solid Norton performance (despite being very reminiscant of his performance in the latter half of American History X), and following his redeeming role In Bruges Farrell should see his star rise again, showing a very bullish side that often calls on his character to do some of the most despicable things I’ ve seen in a mainstream film, yet he still makes Jimmy likeable and sympathertic. Of the three it’s the least well known that puts in the best performance though, Emmerich is one to watch and makes a potentially boring ‘straight’ role and injects real pathos and emotion into it.

Emmerich is also dealt a subplot involving a dying wife, veering on schmaltzy it seems almost needless but in the context of his character it gives some real emotional heft. In fact it’s the family aspect of the story that works the best. Maybe it’s because we get a real sense of who these chracters are or maybe it just seems a lot more fresh and original. And that folks is the main problem, the script is so cliched that even the best actors can’t erase the whiff of ‘seen it all before’ territory.    

VERDICT

Punchy, and shocking in parts, with a solid acting trio at the centre, it’s a great shame that Pride & Glory just can’t shake that ‘seen it all before’ vibe. It would be disappointing but I never expected a great deal to begin with, file under worth a watch Friday night fare!

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