Pride and Glory
At the heart of the story, you have Ray Tierney and Jimmy Eagan, brothers-in-law who are both part of the elite New York City Police Department. However, though connected by marriage, the two men represent completely different sides of the police force. While Ray, played by Edward Norton, represents the courageous, moral cop that everyone hopes to encounter when the time comes; Jimmy, creatively portrayed by Colin Farrell, is nothing near that. Instead, he is a man of corruption as he plays hardball with the drug lords of NYC, doing favors in return for cash, and never blinking an eye-lid to their ultimate consequences.
Together, the two actors give startlingly real performances as they embrace their characters, playing up their situation and giving audiences the cop thriller that they have longed for. Their every moment is done with such unique precision as both actors stay within themselves, understanding how they fit into the story, and playing to it flawlessly. But more than their individual performances, I credit them both for being able to work with one another, as well as the rest of the cast.
Unfortunately, the same can't be said for Noah Emmerich. Playing Francis Tierney Jr., brother to Norton's Ray, Emmerich gives a disappointing performance as he fails to materialize his character, becoming one-dimensional in his efforts to play the film's most emotional and gritty officer.
In the film, Francis Tierney, Jr. is a complex man. Husband to a wife who is dying of cancer, his emotions are consistently held in check as he is forced to balance his home life with that of his work. Throw in the growing tension that is a result of his father's high expectation, and it is no wonder that Tierney has made a chore of looking the other way when corruption shows itself from within the force. But when news of mass corruption reaches the streets, he is forced to deal with the incident head on, making a bold decision; one that will surely tear his family apart at the seams.
Tierney's situation, though extreme in every right, slightly touches on the intense and emotional aspects that underline the film's powerful story. Unlike most other cop dramas, this film is about more than cops and corruption. Instead, it is about family and the ties that we all share with them. It is about decisions and their consequences. And most importantly, it is about responsibility and how we handle it. The film is one of power, and through that, it is able to reach out and connect with those sitting in the audience.
Capitalizing on the raw sentiment and complex states that surface, Pride and Glory is able to create an energy that has long since been associated with a cop drama. The actions are instinctive and the characters real, coming together to form a story that people can relate to. Though nowhere near perfect, Pride and Glory is a giant step up from last year's We Own the Night, and a giant leap in the right direction for a once dying genre.