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Righteous Kill

  • Film
  • 2 out of 5 stars
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Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars

De Niro. Pacino. Together again at last. Well, you can stop salivating right this minute because this first reunion for the two key Hollywood actors of their generation since the diner scene in Michael Mann’s ‘Heat’ puts them in the sort of schlocky crime flick which would have gone straight to video had it not been for their involvement. Aptly cast as two weary NYPD detectives on the verge of retirement, the two play to a good cop/bad cop template, as Al (a sprightly 68) delivers concerned emollience and Bob (a fit 65) parades his anger-management issues in the face of a serial-killer investigation where evidence suggests a police insider enacting their own brand of justice on sundry scumbags. As the procedural moves along entirely functional lines, inserts of grainy faux-video footage shows Bob confessing to said slayings…

Forget any pretensions to moral complexity, this dispiriting affair is more a matter of tired plot-spinning, vainly trying to disguise a blatantly predictable final ‘twist’. It offers the two stars plenty of screen-time together, yet gives them only low-voltage banter to work with. Admittedly, they’ve both been worse; Pacino tones down the windmilling arms and volatile intonation, while De Niro produces some variation on his recent rictus smirk, but there’s little here apart from a few grace notes and sly asides to suggest former heavyweights at work. They look like jobbing veteran actors picking up another payday in some routine cop filler, and Avnet’s busily clueless direction offers them and the clunky writing little help. Pacino. De Niro. It’s over.

Written by Trevor Johnston

Release Details

  • Rated:15
  • Release date:Friday 26 September 2008
  • Duration:100 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Jon Avnet
  • Screenwriter:Russell Gewirtz
  • Cast:
    • Robert De Niro
    • Al Pacino
    • Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson
    • Carla Gugino
    • John Leguizamo
    • Donnie Wahlberg
    • Brian Dennehy
    • Melissa Leo
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