Review: We Own the Night
OWN THE NIGHT
Directed by: James Gray
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Wahlberg, Eva Mendes...
PLOT: Corruption and crime hit an all-time high in the 1980s NYC, when Russian mafia infiltrated drugs into the club scene and played target practice with the cops. Bobby (Phoenix) is a big shot club manager who abandons his police family roots to differentiate himself from his father Burt (Robert Duvall) and brother Joseph (Wahlberg) as he moves up in the club scene. When Russian kingpin declares war on the NYPD, it puts him in a compromising and personal situation, which ultimately forces him to face his inevitable destiny.
CRITIQUE: Having established his criminal credit with his
1994 film debut LITTLE ODESSA, writer/director James Gray reunites
with actors Mark Walberg and Joaquin Phoenix with whom he
collaborated in his last film, THE YARDS. In his highly anticipated
The film opens to very steamy scene with Bobby and Amada in a private room of a nightclub. Flying high at a glamorous disco, they engage in some sexy foreplay before joining the other partiers downstairs in the nightclub. Initially sex, drugs and disco elude to a Studio 54 like aura, but the script quickly turns into an action-packed crime drama when the mafia gets too close for comfort. A drug bust elevates into a street war between the Russian mafia and the NYPD, leaving Bobby with no other choice than to pursue a path, which will honor his family. The film, which was titled after an 80s NYPD anti-drug publicity slogan, resonates love, loss and betrayal. These are the formulaic ingredients that make for a good action, crime-drama.
The film is shot with a dark and grim lighting reflective of
the 80s dirty and corrupt NYC streets.
It has some exciting chase and firing scenes which always
make for good entertainment. Overall,
it's shot well, but the story is somewhat splattered and incohesive.
The strength of this film however, is its star power.
The talented cast is magnificent and their chemistry works
well. Duvall displays the
perfect tenderness expected of a caring, noble father while Wahlberg
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