Saturday, December 19, 2009

Righteous Kill

I don't know if you can go wrong with DeNiro and Pacino on screen together.  They hadn't been in a film together since Heat in 1995, and Righteous Kill was a worthy reunion.  Both of these seasoned actors were at their best, and the chemistry they share makes the sum better than the parts.

DeNiro and Pacino, long-time partners in the NYPD detective squad, are on the trail of an apparent serial killer.  The killer definitely needs to be caught, but they do hold him in some admiration, because each of the victims is a known criminal who has slipped through the cracks of the justice system.  Coincidentally, each of the criminal victims has some sort of prior connection to the crime-fighting pair.  Evidence begins to indicate that the suspect must be a police officer, and fingers start pointing in the direction of Pacino and DeNiro.

I don't want to give anything away, but the question of vigilante justice intrigues me.  Given an obvious failure of the justice system, is there ever a place for a "righteous kill"?  When the wheels of justice move too slowly, not at all, or even backwards, can one justify the murder of the guilty?  The biggest part of me screams, "Of course not!" but there is a part of me that does relish the idea of the bad guys getting their due.  (Don't worry, I'm not armed.)

Righteous Kill moves along briskly, at times maybe getting a little to clever and confusing, but for the most part engages the audience and keeps them guessing.  I enjoyed this movie to the end, even thinking I'd like to see it again.  Check it out.

Bottom line, 3 stars.

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