Early on in Righteous Kill Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino's characters are likened to John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Now its not a bad comparison for the actors as they were quite possibly the two most influential people in their field for a good portion of the 60's and 70's, just like the moptops. But as I tried desperately to look for more links all I could come up with is, like John Lennon, DeNiro has done fuck all of worth lately. At least John has an excuse.
Taking the lead (quite wrongly considering the above statement), DeNiro is Turk a long in the tooth detective with serious anger problems who spends most of his workday running around calling people "Mutts" as if its the most offensive term imaginable. The sober Ying to DeNiros raging Yang is Rooster (Pacino), a calm, collected detective who will do anything for his partner. When murders start edging ever closer to the two detectives door, suspicion is cast on everyone including the Heat duo.
Even sans the ridiculous character names, Righteous Kill is a very, very silly film. While for most of its running time its just a run of the mill cop movie waste of time sterotype it has a really, really stupid ending that I'm not just calling stupid because I was too stupid to get. I don't get twists ever (bar The Village which I got after three seconds, the 'no date' gave it away), I'm constantly falling for the red herring and you know what I'm happy in my ignorance. It is indeed bliss. But just because I didn't get the twist does not mean that after I left the auditorium I wasn't standing there berating the fact that it just doesn't work.
The main draw of Vito and Michael sharing more than just a coffee pays off surprisingly well for the opening third of the movie. But annoyingly soon after that you remember that while the two sure can act they couldn't tell a dud script from a hit if each page was lamenated in plastic turds. Cliche after cliche is hurled at the screen with an amazing amount of direspect for the audience even before the ridiculously unimpressive twist. Sure William Goldman once said "Nobody Knows Anything" in reference to how a film will turn out, which almost clears the two main actors but I think the words 'Directed by Jon Avnet' will, from now on, be a crystal clear clue.