The departed “Pride and Glory” of the cop drama

Pride and Glory Gavin O’Connor (Avery Pix)1 StarCould Hollywood producers simply be taking old movies, slicing them up and splicing them back together again without thinking their audiences would notice? A lack of originality and depth drive this convoluted crime drama, based around a family of American- Irish policemen. It deals with all the normal assorted points of conflict: brotherhood; drug-dealing-mercenary cops, cover-ups, and of course, lots of bloody violence. The first hour, in which the plot is unceremoniously unloaded, is a slur of f-bombs and shaky, handheld camera work that can’t seem to catch anything but the back of the actor’s heads while they mumble their played- out lines. As the cameraman runs after the characters, the blurry shots reveal that four cops have been killed in a drug raid. The cinematography and dialogue about people, place and events leaves the viewer clueless. The three-minute trailer would suffice in lieu of the first hour of the movie. Director Gavin O’Connor and cinematographer Declan Quinn boldly attempt to cast a tint of blue light on every scene, whether the lens falls on dark streets or well-lit indoor scenes, serving only to distract the viewer from finding any focal point. In the end, the unorganized and dull imagery only works to distract the viewer from what the characters are actually saying to each other. While the dialogue lacks in substance, a grade-A cast of actors happen to be the film’s saving grace. The lead, played by Edward Norton, is a cynical detective investigating the murders of the four cops. Noah Emmerich plays Norton’s brother and the dead cops were members of his squad. Colin Farrell plays their murdering, baby-torturing, drug dealing and all-around bad cop brother-in-law. The main conflict appears when Norton starts to uncover evidence that implicates the police and possibly his own family in the murders. But nobody cares, because the characters are self-indulgent, ignorant and passively arrogant. The best acting in the movie comes from its supporting actors; Jon Voight plays the family’s over-liquored paterfamilias, who, despite his simple nature and old-school morals, is struggling to find what’s right for his family. He delivers a fantastic inebriated monologue to his family, which provides a moment of uncalculated emotion and the saving grace of a movie rife with emotional distance. John Ortiz delivers a great performance as a repentant dirty cop that can’t see passed the emptiness in his soul. But these scenes stand alone in this wash of emotional shallowness. Norton and Farrell, though great actors, fail to save this movie, which opened two years after its predicted release date – a sure sign of a dud. But, hey, after midterms, it might be just what’s needed – a bloody, mind-numbing film that rushes to tie together its loose ends in one smooth, swift kick.