The Righteous Kill is a cop's drama spiced up with a thriller atmosphere. The movie's by-line "Nothing wrong with a little shooting, as long as the right people get shot" is the best description for it.
The leading roles are played by Al Pacino and Robert de Niro so everyone expected a lot from this movie. If the audience had paid attention to the director and a writer, it might have led to fewer expectations.
The beginning uses an interesting plot and filmic device. There is a black and white home video showing Robert de Niro, explaining that he had killed fourteen people. For the rest of the movie the camera gets back to him justifying each murder. Things aren't as simple as they seem though.
The actual idea of the story is quite promising. The thriller quotes Al Pacino's hero saying: "You don't become a cop because you want to serve and protect. You join the force because they let you carry a gun and a badge. You do it because you get respect" and then adding: "Most people respect the badge. Everyone respects the gun." That gives the viewer a clue something tricky is going on.
Two police detectives work side-by-side in the NYDP for most of their lives, along with their every-day job and successful investigations; they are trying to find a serial killer. The killer has been going on for many years. At each crime scene the killer leaves a four-lined poem at the murder scene explaining the reasons for murder. The general public doesn't seem to be really bothered by the killings, because the guy is helping to fix the flaws in the administration of the justice.
You see he only kills those notorious criminals who for some reason walked free out of the court rooms.
Finally the police decide to find the mysterious killer and assign two younger policemen to the case. They come to the conclusion the killer might be a cop. This puts the two heroes themselves under suspicion. The killer finally makes a mistake by choosing to kill a Russian Mafioso who, after being shot at point-blank range, is still alive. He might talk at any moment. Obviously the guy will name his assassin once he is able and this is where things start to unravel.
Too much happened in the first 30 minutes of the movie. This is a little bit unusual and gives an impression that the director wanted to show as much as possible in the shortest time possible. By the middle of the movie you finally get accustomed to it and start to believe that the solution is close at hand, but there is a twist in the end.
There is enough good humor to keep the viewer entertained. There were a couple of jokes by Al Pacino in his own sarcastic manner and a few very funny situations.
The acting duet of Al Pacino and Robert de Niro are still very good and honestly the best feature of this movie. It's a little bit sad that such great actors were not given the chance to develop a bit more, maybe the director did not want to distract from the movie itself. It was interesting to see famous hip-hop artist 50cent, playing a drug dealer and even more surprising, to see him act well.
In general it is not a bad thriller, with a slight touch of philosophy, which is however very intangible and hasn't been developed thoroughly. It leaves too many questions afterwards, but this is just a movie after all. HHH
Now showing Estonia,
Coming 16 Oct Latvia