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Righteous Kill

August 31, 2013

Righteous Kill (2008)
Director: Jon Avnet
Actors: Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Carla Gugino

Righteous Killing









Synopsis: A recorded confession seems to indict NYPD cop ‘Turk’ (Robert De Niro) in a series of righteous serial killings. Seeing those killings played up to the point where Turk makes that confession, lends a different slant on proceedings.

Review: The anticipation of the re-teaming up of those legendary acting powerhouses, Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, is probably the most exciting aspect of Righteous Kill, as what follows is a disappointingly tired and hackneyed cop drama – which even allowing for its late, semi-comprehensible twist, doesn’t excuse the mediocrity of what comes before.

The conceit of having a serial killer thriller where the culprit seemingly makes his confession at the start (in this case, De Niro’s vigilante cop) before we go back to see how the slew of murders played out, may have seemed a daringly dramatic twist on paper – but it sucks the life out of proceedings in reality. Not only is there the literal, dramaturgical dead-weight of knowing that everything we see is the by product of De Niro’s seeming future confession, but, also, only the most ignorant of audience members will not be anticipating what the final twist will be to contradict the too obvious fact of De Niro’s culpability. Thus, it’s a serial killer movie without any threat, a cop thriller going through the motions in the depiction of its CSI milieu, and De Niro and Pacino seem blunted by the piece’s overall lack of bite. (August 2013)

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