New Line Cinema
I’m pretty confident that New York City’s finest will not enjoy “Pride and Glory,” starring Edward Norton, Collin Farrell, Jon Voight, and Noah Emmerich. The movie is about a police family in New York that gets caught up in some po-po corruption. Francis Tierney (Voigt) is Chief of Manhattan Detectives, his son Francis Jr. (Emmerich) is a cop, his younger son Ray (Norton) was a cop, and his son-in-law Jimmy Egan (Farrell) is – you guessed it – also a cop.
We begin with four police officers being brutally killed during a drug bust gone awry. Francis Sr. asks his son Ray to lead the investigation and Ray reluctantly agrees, even though he has been off the force for awhile. There seems to have been an incident in the past that left him divorced and jobless – we don’t know yet why (and hardly get to the bottom of by the end of the film either).
As Ray begins the investigation, he realizes that someone had tipped off the drug dealers that the cops were arriving – and that the call must have come from one of New York’s finest. Ray discovers that the Tierney family may be directly involved.
While Norton may be the lead of the film, Emmerich is the star. He brings a believable complexity to his character. His wife is losing a battle to cancer, and he must decide whether to adhere to family loyalty, NYPD pride, or honor and honesty for the sake of his dying wife, daughters, and brother Ray. Francis Jr. may have made some mistakes but we can understand why he’s been distracted.
Farrell is hard to watch. His character is utterly unlikable and cruel. Even in scenes where he is playing with his children or cuddling his wife, I felt completely on edge, waiting for his Irish rage to snap. And snap it does in some pretty stomach turning scenes – a pipe shoved down a dealer’s throat and an steaming iron held to the face of a baby to name just two.
In the end “Pride and Glory” felt like a bootsier version of “The Wire.” It had a bit too much violence for my taste and left me feeling incredibly anxious. It certainly did not help restore my faith New York City’s police department and I had trouble discerning if that was the point or not.