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The Northerner

Little to be proud of in ‘Pride and Glory’

Josh Hartnick

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Dirty cops, family drama, a handful of Hollywood stars, drugs, violence, babies assaulted with irons and F-bombs dropping left and right and, yet, this tale of N.Y. Police manages to come up short.

“Pride and Glory,” directed by Gavin O’Connor, opened Oct. 24. It stars Edward Norton, Colin Farrell, John Voight and Noah Emmerich.

The film portrays a family’s struggle for loyalty – within themselves and their jobs.

The opening scene begins with four cops being brutally killed during a drug sting while the rest of the department is at an inter precinct football game. The patriarchal Francis Tierney Sr. (Voight) asks his son Ray (Norton) to join a task force investigating the shooting, leaving no stone unturned. The murdered police officers worked under Francis Tierney Jr. (Emmerich) and were partners with Jimmy Egan (Farrell), who is married to Tierney Sr.’s daughter.

The film is too formulaic. From the start, Jimmy Egan is obviously dirty and involved with the police murders. Ray is a cop with a troubled past.

Through the film, viewers learn that he previously lied to a grand jury to cover for a dirty cop and now, of course, faces the same problems. Tierney Jr. ran the corrupt precinct, and while he never got his hands dirty, he let it happen, which is bad enough.

With the amount of star-power packed into this movie, it is hard for things to go wrong. There is nothing truly bad about the film, yet there is nothing spectacular – with one exception: Out of all the chaos, the true star of the film gets minimal billing and is never actually seen.

Declan Quinn (“Vanity Fair”, “Cold Creek Manor”) is the director of photography for this movie, and he is the only reason the flick is salvageable. In an era where MTV culture continues corrupting cinematography, Quinn is a diamond in the rough. Foregoing quick-paced, frantic jump cuts, he takes this film in a different direction.

It ignores the narrative and adequate acting, the film is a visual feast. Quinn maintains a heavy use of steadicam and liberal use of rack focus. Throughout the styling of the gritty-cop tale, the suspension of disbelief should be in full-effect. The audience feels like instead of just watching the story they are silent partners with Ray Tierney as the investigation unfolds.

The movie is good for lovers of great cinematography, but comes up as forgettable for everyone else. The film is good for a rent or a viewing at a discount theater, but it’s not worth the full-ticket price. Entertainment seekers could just as easily watch some episodes of FX’s “The Shield” or enjoy HBO’s “The Wire” to get a good, old-fashioned cop story fix.

“Pride and Glory” runs 125 minutes and is R-rated for strong violence, pervasive language and brief drug content.

era where MTV culture continues corrupting cinematography, Quinn is a diamond in the rough. Foregoing quick-paced, frantic jump cuts, he takes this film in a different direction.

Ignoring the narrative and adequate acting, the film is a visual feast. Quinn maintains a heavy use of steadicam and liberal use of rack focus. Throughout this styling of the gritty-cop tale, the suspension of disbelief is in full-effect. The audience feels like, instead of just watching the story, they are silent partners with Ray Tierney as the investigation unfolds.

It’s good for lovers of great cinematography, but comes up forgettable for everyone else. The film is good for a rent or a viewing at a discount theater, but it’s not worth the full-ticket price. Entertainment seekers could just as easily watch some episodes of FX’s “The Shield” or enjoy HBO’s “The Wire” to get a good, old-fashioned cop story fix.

“Pride and Glory” runs 125 minutes and is R-rated for strong violence, pervasive language and brief drug content.

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The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.
Little to be proud of in ‘Pride and Glory’