If Pride and Glory were an episode of Cops, it would be any one of the shows where a police officer pulls an eightball out of a crackhead’s pocket, and the only thing the panicked druggie can get out is, “That ain’t mine.” It’s director Gavin O’Connor’s stock answer for the crime-drama genre.
Sure, not all crime dramas can be as well-acted as Training Day or as brutally realistic as Narc (written and directed by P&G scribe Joe Carnahan), but with this film, Carnahan and O’Connor (Disney’s Miracle) drag the story’s halfhearted characters through such generic plot points it’s no wonder New Line Cinema decided to shelve the film for more than half a year.
Edward Norton and Colin Farrell, playing brother-in-laws in the NYPD, can’t be held accountable for P&G’s lack of sensibility. Norton is Ray Tierney, a straight-laced officer who, after two years working in missing persons, is pressured by his father (Voight), the chief of detectives, to head a task force in search of a cop killer. Farrell is on the other side of the law as Jimmy Eagan, a hard-ass cop who pals around with drug dealers while on the clock. It all makes for a not-so-sweet holiday season at the Tierney household as Ray investigates the murders of four policemen, while Jimmy looks for ways to cover his tracks.
While most of the boys in blue look out for their own, the same can’t be said for Carnahan, who dumps some rather stagnant and unintentionally funny dialogue on the lead actors. This may be the first film of his career where he’s not directing his own script, but but denying responsibility like a cornered crackhead isn’t going to hold up in any court. This has got Carnahan’s name written all over it.