Not feeling happy with my own company yesterday, I needed to get out of the house. Feeling suburban and kind of exhausted, I drove myself out to the Queensway cinema to see Pride and Glory (sometimes you can take the girl out of Mississauga but you can't always take Mississauga out of the girl). From the tagline and trailer you'd expect a fairly typical good cop vs. bad cop drama set on the gritty streets of NYC, and that's pretty much what you get, but the script is good (save for a couple of quasi-lame, quite derivative sub-plots; tell me, why do all abandoned their "difficult" marriages cops end up living on boats?) and so are the performances.
Ed Norton wears a jagged scar on his cheek and a clean cut "cop" goatee. He's a very serious detective who made a bad judgment call a ways back and now atones for that sin toiling his time away in Missing Persons. The entire 31 division (is that right?) is playing a football game when the call comes in that there's been a terrible incident in Washington Heights that's left four cops dead. Pulled back into mainstream cop life by his high-up cop father (Jon Voight), Ray Tierney (Norton) joins the task force and starts pulling down the cards supporting the "house" and revealing some pretty crooked business. The trouble? His brother, Francis (Noah Emmerich), is the CO and any wrong doing will end up stacked high on his shoulders. Toss in the fact that the trouble is somewhat caused by his brother-in-law (Colin Farrell) and suddenly this the "blue family" of cops now has bloodlines and baby sisters and all kinds of other sibling rivalry to cope with on top of the usual ideals of loyalty.
See, when I spell it out like that it all comes across as a little cliche, but the film itself is pretty good. It's not an over-bloated epic like last year's We Own the Night but it's certainly not as complex and intriguing as The Departed. Yet, I liked the movie because the performances were honest, Norton and Emmerich play brothers, and while a lot of the action may be stereotypical, neither give a performance where they're "playing" cops, if you get my meaning. There's a particularly poignant scene where Emmerich simply stands up to become the kind of man his wife expects of him (she's sick; you know where that's headed and where it's came from; there's nothing new there) and it's subtle, effective and somewhat moving. On the whole, it's a solid picture, exactly what you'd expect from those involved.