More noise than signal

Righteous Kill

This review has been ‘repurposed’ from my other site, theOneliner.com

In a way, this is perhaps the single most cynical film to be belched in our general direction in a good while. To most right thinking people, a film where Al Pacino and Robert De Niro act alongside each other for the first time was something that demands viewing, regardless of quality. And sadly Righteous Kill has made no regard to quality, bolting the top drawer cast to a bottom of the barrel script provoking mild disinterest all round.

It seems a serial killer is doing the rounds in detectives Turk (Pacino) and Rooster (De Niro) neck of the woods, bumping off minor criminals of the sort that no-one seems to perturbed to see gone. That said, they’re still assigned to catch the evildoer, joined by fellow coppers Ted Riley (Donnie Wahlberg) and Simon Perez (John Lugieziamo). Off they plod down a cookie cutter serial killer investigation route of the sort that you’ve seen umpteen times before and does very little to distinguish itself from all of the others.

Had this film appeared about twenty years ago, it’d probably have met a lot more success. It may at least have had performances from De Niro and Pacino that don’t come across as a somewhat detached sound of a check being cashed. The casting doesn’t even feel particularly appropriate. The opening credits are overlaid with shots of Pacino and De Niro at a firing range, belting out automatic weapons fire at the targets. It’s supposed to establish them as legit hard boiled cops. It actually establishes them as bus pass wielding coffin dodgers, and the rest of the film does nothing to disabuse us of that notion.

Walhberg and Lugieziamo at least look a little more interested in their supporting role, but that’s never going to be enough to make up for a script that explores nothing new and does nothing interesting.

While even as disinterested as the cast are, they’re talented enough to avoid making it entirely unwatchable, there’s not a reason I can think of to recommend it.

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