“RIGHTEOUS KILL” (Robert De Niro & Al Pacino)
I didn’t go into this movie thinking it was going to be great just due to the star power of the lead actors – Pacino has always been vastly over-rated in my mind & De Niro doesn’t seem to be too picky about scripts lately. I’d heard how predictable & mundane the plot was, & although I didn’t see the ending coming - when all was said & done – no, it wasn’t very original. It seemed like the storyline was honed so the ‘hammier’ of the two actors could do just that – Ham it up with an implausible, insipid finale.
The title refers to a series of ‘serial’ killings where the victims were criminals that ‘got away’ with their crimes – released by the system for lack of evidence, etc. Normally, I’m a sucker for such fare – as long as we can see that the criminals are indeed guilty & deserve what’s coming to them, I’m all for vigilante justice. So, we don’t care about the victims, so what else is there to care about? I guess, trying to guess which one of the star detectives is committing the justifiable murders – I thought the clues were pointing toward the horny female forensic detective, who was more hooker-like than a professional police officer (Carla Gugino, whom I haven’t seen in quite a while & although she’s a pretty little thing, I’ve seen better acting in Safeway commercials)
The guilty cop leads fellow detectives to focus on an ex-cop, now struggling to make ends meet as a ‘mall security guard’ – just one problem with that plot twist – we know he’s innocent – So when he jumps into the car with one of the investigating officers, we
know he isn’t going to cause him any harm – There’s no ‘Oh My God, he’s getting in the car –What’s he going to do next?’ moment... There’s no real suspense here because it’s a policeman killing guilty criminals - Do we really care if he gets caught? & when the finale ‘kill’ takes place, we’re left wondering ‘Why stop there?’ The vigilante doesn’t get caught, he simply cops to the killings... Why? Yes, this is another one of those reviews that ends with a question for the actors involved in this film... Why?