In 1995 it was a big deal when "Heat" was the first movie where Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino shared a scene (they were both in "The Godfather II", but never on-screen at the same time); they were only on-camera together in "Heat" for a few scenes, so "Righteous Kill" is the first time they truly starred together. DeNiro & Pacino are icons, but it's no secret that they've spent the past few years coasting on their previous successes. This movie was a jumble of cliches and retreaded ideas, and only brought up a bit by decent acting.

Turk and Rooster are NYPD cops trying to track down a vigilante who takes down criminals that slipped through the legal system. A pimp, a rapist, a gangster, a pedophile - all people that deserved to be in jail or dead. As the clues add up, signs point to a crooked cop. The veteran duo of DeNiro and Pacino team up with a younger pair (played by Donnie Wahlberg and John Leguizamo) to try to find the killer, tensions rise, accusations fly, and loyalties are questioned.

There are obvious nods to plenty of other movies - DeNiro talking about washing the streets clean is clearly a parallel to "Taxi Driver"; dirty cops are nothing new, anti-hero vigilantes are nothing new.

It's difficult to reveal a lot of the plot because it leads you down one path only to switch things up at the end, but I'll just say that I sniffed out the twist before I think I was supposed to. I know the movie is over a decade old, but I still prefer to avoid spoilers.

DeNiro and Pacino were both good at working with an average plot and script (Pacino only really goes full-blown PACINO towards the end); the supporting cast of Wahlberg and Leguizamo and Carla Gugino and Brian Dennehy were fine, but the end result is a mostly-forgettable movie.

[Celluloid Hero] gives "Righteous Kill" a 5 out of 10.




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