Righteous Kill Review

Righteous-Kill-Review.jpgThanks for checking out our Righteous Kill review. If you’d like to see a video version of our Righteous Kill review you can watch it at the bottom of this post.

They are without a doubt 2 of the most celebrated and greatest actors of all time. Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino have redefined the craft of acting during their long and illustrious careers and have turned in some of the greatest and most memorable performances that have ever graced the silver screen. It’s simply not possible to overstate their importance.

HOWEVER… there is also no denying that the last 10+ years have been giant shit streak stains for both of them. Oh sure both of them have the odd “Merchant of Venice” or “Meet the Parents” on their resumes, but they get lost in the massive amounts of of films like “88 Minutes”, “Sim1one” and the like. These guys have both essentially gone to pot to the point that even Francis Ford Coppola has said both of them don’t even look like they’re trying anymore.

So along comes the film people have been waiting almost 30 years to see. Finally, a movie with both of these acting titans in it together. Righteous Kill. Awesome right? Well… no. Not even close.

THE GENERAL IDEA

The synopsis of Righteous Kill looks something like this: “Turk (Robert De Niro) and Rooster (Al Pacino) are partners in the NYPD Homicide Division. They have 30 years of service investigating murders, and before they pull the pin, they want to solve their last big case. The city has a serial killer who is targeting criminals who have fallen through the cracks of the judicial system and have gotten away with rape, murder, and other heinous crimes. The serial killer believes that he is helping the police by taking the scum of the earth out of society for good, never to hurt any law abiding citizens again. The serial killer shoots the criminal at very close-range and leaves a four-line poem justifying the execution. Turk and Rooster want to give this person a medal, but instead, they must arrest him before he kills again.”

THE GOOD

No matter how bad the last decade has been for these two legends, and no matter how awful most of their movies are nowadays, it was still nevertheless a lot of fun to see the two of them up there on the screen together. Two old cops, exchanging jokes, pulling their guns, chasing down the bad guys and then downing some whisky at the local bar. It was almost like we weren’t seeing the characters… it felt more like DeNiro and Pacino as themselves talking about their careers in the film business instead of the crime world. It really was great to finally see.

I always like Donnie “New Kid On The Block” Wahlberg whenever I see him in stuff. Ransom, Sixth Sense, even that cop TV show he was on for a while “Boomtown” and it was nice to see him in there again. Lost in a swamp of horribly over acted performances by almost everyone in this cast, Wahlberg ended up giving the best performance because was the only one who kept any sense of subtlety. His was the only convincing character, and so whenever he was on screen, it was like getting some momentary relief from a horrible toothache. Which leads us too…

THE BAD

This movie is so horrible on so many levels it’s hard to know where to start. First of all let’s talk about the performances. Both DeNiro and Pacino were AWFUL. There, I said it. It’s like these two guys just don’t give a crap about their jobs anymore and it shows. It was like the director (who I will get to in a moment) told DeNiro “Just give me the most stereotypical and intense DeNiro you can for 2 hours. GO!”, and then said the same thing to Pacino, and both of them obliged. It was so overdone that I never once felt any sort of attachment, sympathy, connection, pity, anything for either one of these guys. Just dreadful stuff. They are both capable of so much more.

The direction was inept. By direction I’m not really talking about the camera shot selection, but rather about how he decided to unfold the story of the film and how he managed the actors. The film starts with a videotaped confession of DeNiro admitting to certain crimes and killings, and the the story unwraps around that. It’s hard to fully explain why this was such a horrible decision that almost single handedly ruined the movie without giving spoilers away. It’s enough to tell you that because of his decision to do things that way, you will know how this movie ends within the first 3 minutes of the movie. I did. And when the acting of the entire cast sucks on this level, you have to point the finger at the director a la Phantom Menace.

50 Cent wasn’t in the movie as much as I feared he would be, but his suckiness was just as potent and just as distracting. The film goes back to “fiddy”‘s club several times throughout the film, throwing in random and patronizing hip hop club scenes with rappers and what have you. It was out of step with everything else in the film. I asked this question before and I’ll ask it again. JUST HOW BRAIN DEAD DO YOU HAVE TO BE TO FINALLY GET PACINO AND DENIRO TOGETHER IN A MOVIE AND THEN CONSIDER IT A GOOD IDEA TO THROW 50 CENT IN THERE WITH THEM???? Whoever made that decision should be shot and dragged through the streets (figuratively of coarse… but I mean it… not really… yes really… no, that would be wrong).

OVERALL

My expectations for this film were so low I was actually expecting to come out of it pleasantly surprised. Instead it was even worse than I thought it could be and furthered soiled the legacy of these two immortal giants of the acting world. This movie made me feel like I was watching a once great boxer, well past his prime, getting the shit beat out of him in the ring. All I want them to do now is retire and stop embarrassing themselves. This is a terrible movie. Overall I give Righteous Kill a 2.5 out of 10.

You can watch the video version of the Righteous Kill review here:

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42 thoughts on “Righteous Kill Review

  1. this film was dire. the person who needs shooting most is the caster. trying to find someone old enough to be de niro's and Pacino's boss – queue brian dennehy – what am I going to do with you two guys act etc… when both pacino and de niro are pushing 67+ – absolutely farce.

  2. I went and watched this movie. Its one of my favorites. Great acting and What a TWIST at the end. caught me offguard.

    *****8 OF 10*****

  3. Just watch the film…I think it wasn’t that bad… though you’ll really expect more from two legendary actors…
    the story was so simple and so predictable… but it was really made great by pacino and de niro…
    I may not be satisfied by how the film was done but still both of them are my favorite

  4. this film is absoutly splendid, was a real delight 2 watch it made me do a little sex piss in my panties. i was that overwhelmed i drank ever little bit of it aswell. i had a milkshake in my pants.. as we speak my boxers are lying in a crumpled heap on the floor with horrible stains all over them, they are encrusted in foul things!! good film watch it. my fanny flaps grew so big and im a boy!! x x x

  5. good review m8, real indepth. but why, why put the damn video review at the end. i read the whole thing and thought “hey, i cud have been surfin the net and have sum1 read this thing for me”. what gives?

  6. these 2 has-been actors(once fine actors who made great films) are more brain dead than the zombies that shit director romero loves making, and on that subject, has that fella ever stretched his directing ability further than them lame slow ass munching zombie flicks, nothing to do with hating zombies flicks, as the remade of dawn of the dead was great fun,. good review john, keep up the fine work in that press room of yours.

  7. the middle is where it heated up. the whole entire beginning was boring, and the ending (the chase scene) was pretty good. in general, not near a masterpiece, but i liked it.

  8. (Type your comment here. Make sure you’ve read the commenting rules before doing so) I really liked the movie and i think all these hatters over here are pretty out there because these two guys can make any movie look good and thats what they did

  9. Hey Zuke,

    As I said in the video version of the review and as I’ve said 100 times before, yes they were both IN “Heat” and they were both in “Godfather Part 2” as well… BUT… there weren’t ever really together. In Godfather 2 the had no scenes together, and in Heat they essentially only had 1 scene together.

    This is really their first movie TOGETHER.

  10. John,

    You said people have been waiting 30 years for DeNiro and Pacino to star in a movie together, but like another commenter pointed out, they were both in HEAT together. That is one of my most favorite movies, and one of my most favorite gunfight scenes in all of movies was the bank robbery shootout, because I am a gun enthusiast and Mann accurately portrayed the power and accuracy of the weapons involved – one of the few films that doesn’t exaggerate machine gun fire for more than what it can do.

  11. John, not even with Scorcese, Nolan or Mann directing the movie could have been better?

    Also for Deniro, What Just Happened – 17 October 2008, directed by Barry Levinson.

  12. I posted this the Sept 12 page but here makes more sense, hah.

    De Niro & Pacino two of my favorites actors and are the type of actors that their legacy will be AWESOME for ever, having said that (john, that quote will be remember like the one from Taxi Driver, LOL), but yes their last 8 years (hate the crap the last 10 or 15 years wtf) havent been the best and i hope for this next movies:

    For Deniro:

    Everybody’s Fine (2009) with Kate Beckinsale & Sam Rockwell.
    Frankie Machine (2010) – Directed by Michael Mann.

    For Pacino:

    Dali & I: The Surreal Story & Rififi (2009).

    Those movies for both can be a good comeback.

  13. John, you were DEAD ON with this review. “Righteous Kill” tries WAY too hard to be a physiological thriller that it forgets to properly utilize these two amazing talents. The dialog is dry, the plot is incredibly predictable despite all the “twist” all other reviewers are talking about. I’ve seen better storylines on Law & Order: SVU episodes.

  14. Those 2 are my favorite actors. I loved the movie they made together back in 1995 HEAT. I haven’t saw that one yet but i’m going to soon (we have the same release date here in Greece for this one). I just hope the movie is not that bad as you wrote here. The truth i was a little concerned about Righteous Kill. The previous movie this director made was 88 minutes, the worst Pachino movie ever.

  15. Has anyone noticed the plot of this movie is straight out of “Magnum Force”? Even a line from that movie is in this one “Nothing wrong with shooting as long as the right people get shot”. That’s sad. Even sadder to see our two best actors get saddled down in an obviously sub par film.

  16. Donnie Wahlberg remains a very underrated actor. He was fantastic as a CIA Operative in ‘The Path To 9/11’ – practically stole the show among a very large and talented cast. Too bad they still haven’t put it out on DVD.

  17. JOHN I’m a little confused… First you say P & D were great together yet most of your review and makes it sound like they were total shit. Which is it?? So offense but I feel like you contradicted yourself a lot here!

  18. I’ve liked Donnie in majority of the movies he has been in and that TV show he did for a bit.

    Why the hell is he making more music with New Kids on the Block?

  19. I hated De Niro in Shark Tale (which Shark Tale was one of the worst pieces of crap I’ve ever seen), and Al Pacino should just hope Francis Ford Coppola asks him to be in a good film.

    I won’t see this film. Have you seen Babylon A.D. John?

  20. haha you make me wanna watch it so badly now, just to see how bad it is :P

    I like Donnie step by step oh baby Wahlberg, he was awesome in Band of brothers (a must see mini tv series by the way)

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