Righteous Kill by T. A. Moreland for HW Mag
If only it would happen this way in the real world – a serial killer that only takes out bad guys. Guys who commit heinous crimes but whom law enforcement just can’t seem to get behind bars. In Righteous Kill, Academy Award winners Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino star as veteran police detectives nicknamed Turk and Rooster, who attempt to track down a vicious vigilante.
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As intriguing at this movie is, and I do recommend it, ultimately the script proves to be unworthy of this stellar cast. Screenwriter, Russell Gewirtz who wrote, Inside Man, a 2006 crime thriller directed by Spike Lee, does an admirable job with Righteous Kill. Conflict is the key to good film. There’s plenty here. Not only are Turk and Rooster under pressure to stop the killer, they at odds with a younger team of officers on the case played by Donnie Wahlberg and John Leguizamo who believe that the assailant is a cop! Add to that Turk’s contentious romance with a fellow officer (Carla Gugino) and you have a film with some very entertaining plots.
So while the story is strong, it has too many valleys and too few peaks. And filmgoers have become so accustomed to surprise endings that no ending is really surprising anymore. But what the final scene has to do is answer all the questions. But this story ends in an unappetizing, unpalatable way.
This cast deserved better. With DeNiro, Pacino (who by the way, looks really old), an outstanding performance by John Leguizamo, and a pretty good job done by Curtis (50 Cent) Jackson as the crime entrepreneur, Spider, this screenplay was the weak link in what could have been a very strong production.
But because of this cast, I am going to give Righteous Kill a “SEE IT” rating.
It runs 101 minutes and is rated R for violence, language, sexuality and drug use.