“Pride and Glory”
At Quality 16 and Showcase
2.5 out of 5 Stars
As far as gritty, dark police dramas go, “Pride and Glory” is entertaining. The film stars Colin Farrell (“Miami Vice”) and Edward Norton (“The Incredible Hulk”) as two New York City police officers from the same family. Both find themselves on opposite sides of an investigation into the deaths of four other officers who were shot while allegedly responding to a routine call.
When the investigation points to dirty cops and drugs, the entire family is torn apart in a laudably woven thematic web, which has enough drive and swagger to feel fresh despite the film’s genre-bound execution.
The plot of “Pride and Glory” is very similar to last year’s “We Own the Night” (starring Mark Wahlberg and Joaquin Phoenix). Easily better than that film, it evokes the gravity and steep tension of the pinnacle of the “dirty cop” genre, Sidney Lumet’s “Serpico.”
Norton conveys some of the same righteous outsider/hopeless do-gooder aura that earned Al Pacino a 1974 Oscar nomination for the title role in that film. For his part, Farrell comports ruthlessness with shocking ease and brings a nasty efficiency to his anti-heroic role.
The film itself, however, doesn’t measure up to the fine performances that anchor it. Though emphatic, determined direction and a few shockers keep the plot moving, it ultimately amounts to a level no higher than a decent episode of “24.” It’s exciting and features moments of exceptional effectiveness, but on the whole, “Pride and Glory” is a rather conventional, if slightly above-average, crime movie.