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Movie Review: Righteous Kill

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Written by Hombre Divertido

People slow down as they get older. Just because actors get older their films should not have to get painfully slow.

When Deniro and Pacino last appeared on film together in Heat, other than the climactic shootout, they only shared one scene together, and the gunfight on the streets of LA was so ridiculous, that it degraded the integrity of the film. Could the new collaboration of Deniro and Pacino possibly be less believable?

As Righteous Kill opens the audience is asked to believe that Pacino and Deniro are thirty-year police veterans, detectives and partners reporting to Brian Dennehy, and that Deniro is in a relationship with a fellow police officer that appears to be half his age. Okay.

Deniro seems to be channeling Robert Duvall from the equally disappointing bringing together of legendary thespians in Secondhand Lions, as he takes the bad cop role opposite the apparent rational Pacino. So our two heroes are attempting to solve the case of the poetry-writing killer alongside two young bucks consisting of wasted performances by John Leguizamo and Donnie Wahlberg.

With scenes where Deniro and Pacino actually appear to be having difficulty walking, this script may simply be too much for these seasoned veterans. The story takes too long to get going, and when it does, it literally leaves are elderly stars behind. There is not enough action to hold the attention of the audience, and though there are a few laughs, the overall dialog is not nearly as strong as the one conversation our two stars had over coffee in Heat.

Long before the detectives realize that our murderer is a cop, the audience will have figured out the standard climactic plot twist. So there are no surprises here other than the fact that Pacino and Deniro picked this endeavor to re-unite.

Recommendation: These are of course two of the greatest actors of our time, but these roles are simply no longer within their range. It is unfortunate, but their one scene together in Heat makes it a better rental than Righteous Kill. Let us hope that they will grace the screen together again in a more dignified effort worthy of their skill and maturity.

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