Pride & Glory

Rated R
125 min
If a film school professor could screen this movie for his students and afterwards ask the students “want’s wrong with this film? Anyone?” The correct answer would be “everything!”
Auteurs, the O’Connor brothers (Gavin and Gregory) conjured up this filmmaking abortion. It fails on every level of cinematic art.
Let me be more specific. It’s poorly shot. The dialogue is indiscernible due to incompetent sound recording. The O’Conner brothers were going for a dogma-esque tone which resulted in most scenes shot with pitch black backgrounds with tiny flashes of light on the characters. The stunts were shot with hand held cameras not steadycams which came out a jumbled mess. The gunshots sound like artillery pieces firing, then the sound level drops to zero and the dialogue is whispered. Forget hearing what is being said. More annoyingly, several scenes are spoken in Spanish with no subtitles.
Dirty NYPD cops within an Irish police family is a viable story. It’s cliche but it could have been intriguing. But the O’Conner brothers blew it with their atrocious filmmaking style. They had an A-list cast but didn’t follow through in post-production to correct the movie’s flaws.
Edward Norton portrays Ray Tierney who is investigating the murder of four cops. They were set-up and gunned down in a raid. The bad guys had been tipped off and the cops walked into an ambush. Ray’s older brother Lieutenant Francis Tierney (Noah Emmerich) is in charge of the unit with the dead officers. Jimmy Egan, (Colin Farrell) Ray’s half brother is a dirty cop ripping off drug dealers and dealing drugs himself. His squad of dirty cops are unchecked by Lieutenant Tierney, who is distracted by his wife’s terminal cancer.
When Ray finally figures out that the cops were set up by a player in Jimmy’s crime ring, he confronts his older brother Lieutenant Tierney. He pleads with Ray not to do anything stupid. He could bring down his own family. But Ray takes the information to his dad, Francis Tierney Sr. (Jon Voight)-a retired but still influential cop. He wants Ray to cool it but then Francis Jr. suggests they find Jimmy and pull him out of action.
Meanwhile Internal Affairs is sniffing around Ray, who is called in to make a formal statement. He dodges the detective’s questions and refuses to give his statement. Now, the heat is on Ray, whose gun was used to kill a player in Jimmy’s revenge shooting. He was set up by Jimmy to take the fall. An arrest warrant is issued for Ray.
Ultimately, the situation with Jimmy and his squad of dirty cops blows up in Ray’s face. There is no way for him to do the right thing and not hurt his own flesh and blood. The story implies that blood is thicker than water and Ray, his older brother and father try to mend fences with the department. Clearly, Lieutenant Tierney will lose his job and may go to jail. Jimmy and his thugs are going down.
Watching this film was very frustrating and far from a pleasurable experience. Frankly, I wonder whether the producers didn’t see this train wreck happening before their eyes. Didn’t they view the rushes and the final cut? I wonder how a film this bad could make it to the market without someone calling a halt to the release. Oh well, at least we have a standard of awfulness to refer to and put up as an example of what not to do in making a film.