Detectives Turk and Rooster are on the trail of a scumbag-killing serial killer. Only when they discover that the killer is a vigilante cop do they realize that he may be closer than they thought. Can they stop the killer before it’s too late? Find out in… Righteous Kill.
What?! We open on Turk telling the camera that he is totes a vigilante cop killing people like no big deal (seriously, don’t worry about it. It’s definitely him). We then go back in time to when he and his total weirdo of a partner Rooster first found the trail of a serial killer called the Poetry Boy Killer. They track him all over the city and battle a different pair of detectives for authority over the case. At the same time Turk coaches softball, helps out a young lawyer he got in trouble in a sting operation, and occasionally has kinky sex with his considerably younger girlfriend… it’s real weird. When Poetry Boy unsuccessfully attacks a Russian mobster he knows that the jig is up. He attempts to kill him in the hospital only to be interrupted in the act. In a final act of desperation he goes to Turk’s girlfriend’s house and rapes her. Turk confronts Rooster after discovering that he is Poetry Boy from a little journal he is keeping. We then realize that all the scenes we saw of Turk admitting his guilt were just him reading the journal on camera like and idiot and it’s real dumb (like super dumb (I’m not sure you are getting how dumb this is))… oh yeah, and what a twist or whatever. Ultimately Turk confronts Rooster and is coaxed into shooting him. Rooster begs Turk to let him die and Turk acquiesces. THE END.
Why?! The reason for Rooster’s vigilantism is a little convoluted despite Turk trying to explain it directly to the viewer via the framing device. Apparently there was this criminal who killed a young girl and got away with it. Turk, who by all accounts was a very good, stand-up detective couldn’t handle this and framed the guy for a different crime. Rooster saw this event as indication that the justice system is corrupted and it broke down all the barriers of law and order in his head. Then once he got a taste of justice through his first righteous kill, Rooster just couldn’t stop (in other words he was a super crazy psychopath) and ended up killing like fifteen people.
What?! It’s hard to ignore the fact that there was a lawsuit regarding the use of Al Pacino and Robert De Niro’s images in advertisements for the watch company Tutima. But if there was something that could make me forget that it’s the sheer number of Heinz ketchup bottles that are seen on screen. And lest you think this is just coincidence, they get a Special Thanks at the end of the credits. Thank you indeed.
Who?! In one of the briefest and strangest cameos I can remember, former pro skateboarder Rob Dyrdek is seen for about five seconds in the role of a skateboarding pimp Rambo. This character is immediately killed and never talked or thought of again. Of course this isn’t the only celebrity actor in the film as 50 Cent plays a drug dealer Spider.
Where?! They are NYPD detectives so ‘nuff said… except I’ll say some more. 50 Cent’s club is the Club 404 in Harlem, they play softball in Central Park, and the entire cast of Friends are victims of Poetry Boy (note: not all BMT facts are true). B+ for prominence, could have been set in Seattle or Chicago or wherever really.
When?! I bet if you really scoured this film you’d find an exact date. Or at least a month, given that there are a lot of scenes in police stations, which are prime places for calendars to be hanging on walls. I went back through the film though and didn’t find a trace of anything… Spring or Summer probably because the police softball league is up and going. F
This movie is unbelievably incompetent. Like 88 Minutes all over again and no wonder since it was made by the same people. It is so poorly written you have to wonder whether it somehow fell apart in editing or they simply gave up on trying to make all the pieces fit together. And the twist was so dumb and obvious that it’s stupid they tried to trick the audience with it. All that being said, I found great joy in watching Al Pacino. You can tell just how little he gives a shit and is just goofing off and doing Al Pacino stuff the whole time. He is hilarious. Patrick?
‘Ello everyone! Righteous Kill? More like Fractious Mess, amirite? After the rousing success of Heat the studio executives all got together and declared “after thirteen years of hype we’ve done it! We’ve brought Pacino and De Niro back together to old-man-act together terribly like everyone always wanted!” And everyone thought “wait, who’s this now?” Let’s get into it!
The Good – If this movie existed in a vacuum with two actors you kind of didn’t know you might be able to squint your eyes and think “hey, whatever I like cop thrillers and serial killer stuff.” … But it doesn’t. Al Pacino’s acting is a beautiful thing to behold and something that should be cherished at every opportunity.
P’s View on the Preview – This movie is all about that cast isn’t it? But by far the most interesting thing discovered while making the preview was that Al Pacino was in both this film and BMT Hall of Fame film 88 Minutes in the same year. Not only that both films were directed by the same person! That is nuts. So obviously looking out for the similarities between Righteous Kill and 88 Minutes was high priority.
The Bad – It’s biggest crime is the film is kind of long and boring unlike the svelte 88 Minutes (which is naturally 88 minutes long … not joking). The acting was entertaining but bad. Carla Gugino’s role came across as a bit exploitative and gross. And the twist (if you can even call it that) is amazingly telegraphed and pointless. The story is just one big cliche we’ve seen before. By the end of it you are left wondering what was even the point when you can just watch 88 Minutes. They are stylized in the same weird way, which is the only enjoyable relic of the two movies being made in the same year by the same person.
Get Yo Rant On – If this move was released today it would star John Travolta and Nicolas Cage and it would be released direct-to-VOD. They would bill it as some sort of reunion of Face/Off, but it would be some rote story about a lawyer trying to take down some mafia boss and ending up as some vigilante hero or some crap like that. And ultimately all it would do is remind you of your own mortality and about how your best years are also probably behind you and how every good thing fades and is forgotten into an uncaring universe. That’s Righteous Kill. Thanks Righteous Kill, just what I needed while pointlessly wasting my life watching bad movies. Rant over.
Welcome to Earf – Easy obviously. Al Pacino is in both Righteous Kill and 88 Minutes with Leelee Sobieski who was in Here on Earth. Welcome to Earf you beautiful Al Pacino vehicle.
The BMT – It is kind of paired with 88 Minutes in an interesting way I think. And it is on the Calendar. So there are a few things going for it. But it probably won’t get anything fun in the end of the year Smaddies Baddies and it won’t make the Hall of Fame or anything like it’s twin film 88 Minutes. It isn’t anything special even if it is a total mess and a disaster.
StreetCreditReport.com – It does get a bit of credit here and there, although often overshadowed or mentioned alongside 88 Minutes (naturally). I am actually a bit shocked I could find anything, it feels like one of those movies where everyone would just forget it exists a month after it is released.
And that is that. I will say I took some homework upon myself for this one watching Heat. Which I liked. I can’t say I’m super sold on Michael Mann’s work. I liked Thief well enough (which is surprisingly similar to Heat I think, just in 1981), and Collateral, but I haven’t seen of ton of his stuff. Heat has a ridiculous cast and maybe the best bank robbery scene I’ve seen, which is enough, a very good heist / action film, if a bit long. This film is an abomination next to that one, and doing the homework was unnecessary to say the least.