RIGHTEOUS KILL (2008)

TMG Scale 7.0
Starring Robert Deniro, Al Pacino, Donnie Wahlberg, John Leguizamo and Brian Dennehy

TMG realizes the corrupt New York Cop story has been way over done and I have commented on it before. This movie is quite a bit a remake of  Magnum Force (1973) and a bit of Death Wish (1974) thrown in. The difference is that this film takes its shots from bit more of a realistic vantage. I bought the idea.

Deniro and Pacino play two aging homicide detectives in the New York named “Turk” and “Rooster.” [The names should have been nixed. I have never seen a credit at the end of the movie entitled “Guy who comes up with the stupid character names.” And I wonder why?] There is also  little explanation of why neither hold upper scale jobs or were ever promoted.  The riff seems basically that both these guys are unconventional and ticked off the top dogs more than a few times along the  way.  Both have grown disgusted with the system that lets known and obvious rapists and murderers back out to just commit more mayhem and murder. So far, they  are more like the Dirty Harry twins.   The difference is both conclude the moral and righteous response is simply to execute the bad guys.  Harry Callahan would never go quite that far. Dirty Harry always made sure the bad guys attacked him before he blew them away.

What makes this film much like Magnum Force is that the real bad guys do get their proper punishment.  TMG realizes some bleeding heart liberals and the ACLU do not like that, but we are talking really bad child molesters and killers here, not car thieves or bad check offenders. We are talking offenses just slightly beyond simply being card carrying Democrats. (I just could not resist.)

Wahlberg (the Donnie version) and Leguizamo  sort of the play the collective conscience of Harry Callahan.  They don’t like the scumbag killers going free either, but they refuse to take the law into their own hands.  They suspect De Niro. Is it another disgruntled ex-cop.? Is it Pacino? Is it both?  The real problem is it could be so many people. But does the end justify the means?

One great thing about this film is wondering why Donnie Wahlberg has not made it as big as brother Mark.  Give them the same hairline and they are almost identical. I enjoyed this film on an airplane ride from Juneau to Seattle. I might not have been so generous for ten bucks at the local cinema.  So viewer warning.

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