Praise for Declan Burke: “Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Nobody Move, This Is A Review: PRIDE AND GLORY

You’d have thought – at least, I did – that finding himself amidst the combined talents of Edward Norton, Jon Voight and Noah Emmerich would leave Colin Farrell looking a bit thin, but in fact he’s the best thing about Pride and Glory, a good-cop / bad-cop drama set in New York. Farrell plays Jimmy Egan, married into an Irish-American family with a long and proud tradition of service in the NYPD. Son-in-law to Francis Tierney Snr (Voight), brother-in-law to Francis Jnr (Emmerich) and Ray (Norton), all of whom are flawed but noble characters, Jimmy is a dirty cop for whom the shield is little more than a flag of convenience behind which he operates his drug-related scams. Norton is ostensibly the hero of the piece, as he reluctantly takes on a brief to uncover those responsible for the death of two cops, but Farrell steals the show with a charismatic performance of swaggering venality. The story itself is satisfyingly complex, with a number of sub-plots contributing handsomely to the main tale – the fraught relationship between Francis Snr and his less-favoured but conscientious son Ray; the poignant journey taken by Francis Jnr as he tries to cope with the news that his men are incorrigibly corrupt, all the while supporting his wife (Jennifer Ehle) as she battles cancer. The director, Gavin O’Connor (who also co-wrote), maintains a tense atmosphere for the most part, although the movie does drift away from gritty realism into melodrama for the big finale. While there’s little on offer here that you haven’t seen before – and it’s relatively tame by comparison with The Shield and The Wire, both of which are obviously influences – it’s a strong and sturdy drama that will do Farrell’s career no harm at all.