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.


seanag said...

I actually think Colin Farrell is a fine actor when he's given the right role,ie, not Alexander the Great. And I think he would be well cast in the movie version of The Big O, which I think you were astute enough to hint at therein. You seemed to see him playing Rossi, but I could equally well see him playing Ray, as long as they don't wait too many years to film it.

Dana King said...

Actually, I was thinking Norton would be a good Rossi; he does sleazy well. I do like Farrell, thought he was excellent in that CIA flick he did with Pacino, the name of which escapes me right now.

Jimmy Egan? Could this be in some way an homage to THE FRENCH CONNECTION. Gene Hackman's character of Jimmy "popeye" doyle was based on the real-life detective Eddie "Popeye" Egan. Just wondering.

Declan Burke said...

Seanag - I appreciate the big-up, sir, but I wasn't hinting at Farrell for Rossi ... In fact, I believe Rossi would settle for no one less than Johnny Depp, or Pacino himself.

But you're right, thinking about it now ... Farrell would make a great Ray.

Dana? That's way too complicated right now ... I haven't even had my coffee yet.

Cheers, Dec

seanag said...

I found Deborah Lawrenson's idea of casting Billy Bob Thornton as Frank very intriguing, although, despite Sling Blade, he may come across as a bit too intelligent.

Small note? I am not a sir. I really must do something about that picture one of these days, I suppose, though ambiguity on the internet is not without its pluses...