Friday, September 12, 2008

Rooster and Turk

Righteous Kill (Jon Avnet, 2008)

It's not in my guy's DNA (to retire). ...Probably, his ambition is to die on the job. Sort of like an actor.
-Al Pacino

Rooster (Al Pacino) and Turk (Rober De Niro) are New York City Police Department investigators hunting a vigilante killer. This is Pacino and De Niro latest collaboration film since Micheal Mann's police-thriller Heat in 1995. Their characters in the film are police officers that are trying to take down a noctorious drug dealer. The films principal emotion expressed is anger. Anger towards the judicial system, criminals and personal short coming. As you discover throughout the film one of the two buddy cops turn out to be a serial vigilante killing unpunished culprits. His amoral murders include a wide range of victims including children killers, pimps, rapists and sexually abusive priest. The film examines these murders from a distance and since the murderer is unknown the police force can only speculate over who is to blame for them.

The anger the two cops feel can be respective of the late actors fading career since their heyday in the 1970s. Their performance he can be seen as reprisals of earlier roles. Their signature macho trademark, depressed brows, powerful lines and their ability to look serious and confused. There is as well a parable between the unethical killings and their choices to take on roles in mediocre movies in their later career. Since this is a mediocre film. The film structure is formulaic with obligatory cliches of the action-crime genre and even conventional anti-conventions. The climax of the film boils down to a locker-room prank that has a unrealistic denouement where Al Pacino's accompanying officers disappears. The film ends with the death of Rooster then cuts to Turk going on with his life as he watches his little league baseball team play a game. The ending brings you back to reality and contrasts the dying star fate with the realist life of the audience.-David Davidson

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