Monday, January 26, 2009

Pride and Glory on DVD 1/27

Pride and Glory takes a cue from Training Day in its exploration of police corruption vs. integrity. Edward Norton portrays good cop Ray Tierney while Colin Farrell plays his brother-in-law and corrupt cop Jimmy Egan. Farrell gets the New York accent right, but despite the shared billing with Norton, his role is fairly negligible.

It's really Norton's film all the way. There are some great supporting performances: Jon Voight does a credible job as the patriarch cop, Noah Emmerich offers a solid turn as Ray's older brother and John Ortiz is memorable as a troubled cop working with Jimmy. But Edward Norton carries the film much like his character carries the weight of the world on his shoulders as his investigation into the deaths of four police officers leads him to discover a trail of corruption that ends up in his own backyard.

Director Gavin O'Connor, a cop's son, co-wrote the script with Joe Carnahan (Smokin' Aces) and really wanted to make a movie that cops would watch and feel it was authentic. From the cinematography to the extras, the film does convey a believable, gritty reality. The world of family and loyalty and tradition juxtaposed against criminals, deception and betrayal makes for a compelling story. Unfortunately, the script is weighed down by cliched dialogue and scenes that fall flat.

The actors, however, rise above the material and O'Connor creates a world with cops who are scarier than the criminals they are supposed to protect us from. Too bad he offers no real solution or even a statement on this situation where, in a post-Rodney King world, civilians have a mistrust and even fear of those whose job is to serve and protect. Although the film opened with a football game between a team of cops vs. fireman, O'Connor has little to say on the dichotomy between the way the two types of public servants are perceived in our society. If anything, he just adds to the current perception.

If you're a fan of Ed Norton's work or just like a police thriller, Pride and Glory offers some moments of drama and tension. Pride and Glory is available on DVD Tuesday, January 27th and includes the feature film, making of documentary and bonus digital copy.

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