Pride and Glory
Directed by Gavin O'Connor

Written by Gavin O'Connor and Joe Carnahan

Starring Edward Norton, Noah Emmerich, Colin Farrell, Jon Voight

 

Pride and Glory

"Pride and Glory" is the story of a family of New York Irish cops - and is there any other kind in the movies? The father, played by Jon Voight, is a police inspector, his two sons, played by Edward Norton and Noah Emmerich, are cops, their brother-in-law, played by Colin Farrell, is a cop - it's like the obverse of "The Godfather" - I mean, was there any Mafia film that was set in, say, Atlanta? No, so just as you have to set a Mafia film in New York, you also have to set a cop film in New York, otherwise no studio will ever finance your movie.

So one night four New York City cops - who were under the command of brother Noah Emmerich, are killed in what appears to be a drug bust, but brother Edward Norton, who's got some issues himself, doesn't buy it, and the rest of the film is about what happens to him and his brother and his brother-in-law and their father as the truth slowly comes out.

I think the story is very serviceable, and the direction and cinematography, by director Gavin O'Connor and cinematographer Declan Quinn, are just fine. Most of what happens takes place at night, or in a shadowy apartment, and the tension gets ratcheted up as the truth slowly comes out. The only problem is that we've seen all of this in about a hundred films and television shows. I'm told that the studio sat on this film for a couple of years before releasing it. Maybe I'm getting soft, but I think it's still worth seeing. All the actors have done this kind of work before - deep, slow Edward Norton, loose-cannon Colin Farrell, steady Noah Emmerich, heavy Irish drinker Jon Voight - notice that there are hardly any women in the film, except for Jennifer Ehle, the wife of Noah Emmerich, who hardly counts because she is dying of cancer.

I don't want to make fun of the film; it's exciting, it's well made, and in many ways it's like a good Western, because just like a Western you don't look for originality in it; you just want to relive the exciting moments. And this film does have them.

10/24/08