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Righteous Kill
DVD disk
01.26.2009 By: Mathew Plale
Righteous Kill order
Director:
Jon Avnet

Actors:
Robert De Niro
Al Pacino
Carla Gugino

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Two veteran detectives (De Niro, Pacino) hunt for a serial killer that may be connected to one of their previous cases.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Is this what you had in mind when you petitioned for that De Niro/Pacino reunion? An overly-complicated dirty cop thriller that gives the legends nothing to do other than play themselves—De Niro the squinting time bomb, Pacino the droopy-faced wisecracker—with badges?

The veterans actors play veteran partners in the NYPD. Close to retirement (we’d hope), Turk (De Niro) and Rooster (Pacino) are pulled into an investigation that could only be created for the movies: Someone’s knocking off criminals and leaving behind bad poetry as their calling card. Here’s an example: “Now someone must slap his whore / His heart has stopped, he breathes no more.” That’s a snippet, but you get the idea.

Since the murders are clean and without struggle, Rooster concludes the killer must be familiar with the victims. A dirty cop, maybe? Enter the two rookie detectives (played by John Leguizamo and Donnie Wahlberg) and Turk’s girlfriend/colleague, Karen (Carla Gugino), who sniff out Turk as the chief suspect. But when has a serial killer ever been a temperamental hothead who calls his foes “mutt” and makes Brady Bunch jokes?

Righteous Kill is the sort of cop thriller that puts more time into purchasing authentic-looking prop guns than ironing out the inevitable twist. And if you know anything about twists, you’ll know how the movie ends. And if you know how it ends, and it’s directed by Jon Avent, then why see it? And don’t scream “De Niro and Pacino!” because that won’t work this time.
THE EXTRAS
Audio Commentary with Producer/Director Jon Avnet: The monotonous Avnet gives an absolutely boring track, using his time to discuss what’s onscreen and…that’s about it. Skip it.

The Investigation: An In-Depth Look at Righteous Kill (14:24) is a standard making-of featurette, with cast/crew interviews (conspicuously missing is Pacino), clips, and behind-the-scenes footage.

The Thin Blue Line: An Exploration of Cops & Criminals (19:05): This featurette takes a look at the world of police officers, using stories from real-life cops to detail the unglamorous side of the force.

The Theatrical Trailer and Previews are also included.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Next time, use specifics when petitioning for a De Niro/Pacino reunion. Maybe a smarter script and a more capable director would have been a good start.
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