For a movie buff, the thought of Pacino and DeNiro teaming up on the big screen is like a fantasy fulfilled. You’ve wondered about it, you’ve been teased (The Godfather II) you’ve had a small taste to whet your appetite (Heat), and now you’re gonna get the full monty, because here comes Righteous Kill. Pacino and DeNiro, what could be more perfect, what could go wrong? Well sometimes a fantasy is best left unfulfilled, because it can never live up to the great expectations you’ve created in your own mind.
The two star as veteran police detectives who are pursuing a serial killer who is murdering criminals that have been allowed to slip through the cracks of the criminal justice system. The evidence points to a cop being the culprit. The killer leaves a poem at the scene of each crime, explaining the victim’s offense. DeNiro is the hot-headed one and Pacino is more even-keeled. Good cop/Bad cop all day. You wanna know my problem with Righteous Kill? Look no further than writer Russell Gewirtz, a guy who was clever enough to pen Inside Man but managed to squander his opportunity with Pacino and DeNiro. Director Jon Avnet didn’t fare much better, and made Al Pacino look every bit as ridiculous here as he did in 88 Minutes, which he also directed and which sucked. I can never truly criticize Pacino and DeNiro, and I feel so bad for not loving this movie – believe me I really wanted to! I’m not saying it was bad, I’m just saying that you should lower your expectations. The only reason anyone is gonna see this movie is because of Pacino and DeNiro, and if people are really honest with themselves they will admit that once you get over the initial hype of seeing them on the screen together, the movie will start to raise questions. And I don’t mean the provocative kind of questions; I mean the “why the fuck did he do that?” type of questions. I hate when writers try to hide the ball with audiences, when they deliberately mislead viewers. If I’m outsmarted, I want it to be like The Sixth Sense or The Usual Suspects, not on some dumb shit. I didn’t like the set-up, I didn’t like the script, and I didn’t like a lot of the dialogue. Oh, I feel so dirty, like I need a shower. How can I not love a movie starring two of the greatest actors of all time??? Again, I’m not saying it was bad – it just wasn’t as good as you’d expect. You should check it out off GP, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.