To some, Righteous Kill may have been the long-anticipated reunion of two acting titans (Al Pacino and Robert De Niro). Those same people may probably have even been looking forward to this new offering from director Jon Avnet (who, the last time I checked hadn’t really scored since Fried Green Tomatoes way back in 1991). At the risk of forfeiting my man card, I have to admit that I have never been much of a fan of De Niro and Pacino’s last collaboration – Heat (1995). Having said that, if you’re determined to see these two actors together, you would be far better off renting Michael Mann’s lengthy opus than paying good money to see the far-less entertaining Righteous Kill.
Although Al Pacino and Robert De Niro long ago succumbed to playing caricatures and they do a satisfactory job of avoiding this practice for about a third of this film before the familiar facial tics and guttural grunts start to surface and they’re off and running. The plot of Righteous Kill meanders along like a haphazard episode of Law & Order that happens to guest star two well-known actors. It is a competent film and entertaining enough, but it has no dramatic tension or substantial thrills. An uninspired plot with a telegraphed twist does nothing to save this film from being anything more than another throwaway genre film. While Righteous Kill is certainly not as bad as it could have been, it is nothing special either and ultimately a squandered opportunity to get two once great actors back on track. - Turk182
Rating: 1.5 Bones
Release Date: September 12, 2008
MPAA Rating: R
Starring: Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Brian Dennehy, Carla Gugino, Donnie Wahlberg, John Leguizamo, and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson
Director: Jon Avnet
Writer: Russell Gewirtz