Tired cop drama
Norton, creative direction the only things that set this film apart
It seems 2008 is the year for corrupt-cop films. Pride and Glory is more of the same, pitting good cops against bad cops and watching it all go down.
What perhaps does set this film apart is the complicated nature of the storyline. It’s not just good vs. bad when family is involved, and the Tierneys—Ray (Edward Norton), Francis (Noah Emmerich) and Francis Sr. (Jon Voight)—are a multigenerational NYPD clan. Also in the mix is Jimmy (Colin Farrell), who married into the Tierney family.
So when four policemen are killed during a supposed drug bust, a task force—including Ray—is put together to investigate. The hitch? His brother was in charge of the team, and his brother-in-law, under him, appears to be doing things his own way, outside the law.
The story is typical, if not disturbing, with nothing really new to offer. Norton shines above the rest, with Farrell forgetting his New York accent from time to time and Voight appearing tired, his character a broken record and walking contradiction all at once.
Director Gavin O’Connor, a relative newcomer, puts a scatterbrained spin on the story with his creative choice of camerawork and angles. At times, the shaky cam is almost unbearable, while at others the camera appears to be a video surveillance view or something taken from a helicopter. Strange choices for a straightforward cop drama, but then again, maybe he hoped to distract from the predictable plot, and in some ways he succeeds.