When a cast includes Colin Farrell, Ed Norton and Jon Voight, you wonder why it took New Line so long, way too long, to release this great cop thriller.
'Pride and Glory' is a corrupt cop drama made interesting by the quality of the performances, the gritty view of New York City crime, mixed with good old fashioned family values.
The story follows a family of Irish American cops, headed up by Voight's police chief. His eldest son, Francis (Emmerich), is in charge of the local precinct where his son-in-law, Jimmy (Farrell), is also a cop. Following a controversial case, the youngest son, Ray (Norton), left his high flying job in homicide to work in the outback, aka missing persons. However, when four cops get killed, he is called back to work the case and discovers his family are embroiled in the carnage. Torn apart by his own convictions and loyalty to his family and fellow cops, before the case dictates his future it forces him to revisit his past.
On the surface, this dirty-cop drama is nothing we haven't seen a million times before, but it’s the telling of the somewhat familiar tale that makes it worth watching.
Born into a family of cops the O'Connor brothers, writer/director Gavin and writer Greg, did extensive research for the film and it shows. Co-written by 'Narc' and 'Smokin' Aces'' Joe Carnahan, the dialogue is tight, the characters believable and the resolute portrayal of police work makes this a gripping watch.
There is one foolish fisty cuffs scene accompanied by tweedle dee Oirish music in an Oirish pub, which both the film and audiences could have done without.
Norton turns convention on its head by playing an unconventional good guy, who peels away the plot layers at a perfect pace. Voight surprisingly brings heart and humanity to an otherwise tough-cop role, providing the perfect link between family and force. Farrell returns to the calibre of acting that originally garnered him attention. His complex character is divided by his work and play; one minute he's perfect cop, perfect husband; the next he's more crooked than a country road. Emmerich's character is given the chance to shine through the beautiful, yet tragic, love he shares with his wife (Ehle).
With a distinctive 1970's feel, along the lines of Al Pacino's 'Serpico' and 'The French Connection', 'Pride and Glory' is a violent yet realistic cop drama that you'll probably want to see again.
To see our interview with Colin Farrell, click here