Two senile detectives track a deranged serial killer thought to be a cop. Deranged meaning a plain old serial killer. They always use drastic words to over accentuate the viciousness of a murderer. What makes this film stand out from the average thriller is that the killer only targets sinners or wastes of life. In truth, this is nowhere near as original as the producers would have liked this to be. Those producers being the ones who produced The Wicker Man remake.
De Niro and Pacino, both hailed as mobster hall-of-famers, headline a film that focuses more on the fact that the "legendary duo" are back together for the first time since Heat, rather than fleshing out the characters and traits. Many attempts are made to make these men more like rabid animals but the results are laughable at best. De Niro is seen fucking a female co-worker who likes to be abused and dominated. The final product is old, sweaty, and wrinkly.
The city of New York is given a seedy approach on sinema. While some parts of the city wouldn't be an exaggeration to film this way, bewitching the settings is deemed a must by director Jon Avnet. Steam ascends from manholes in order to distinguish a mood but the film has already sacrificed too much plot to wow the crowd with pretty "hood" streets. Avnet took a stab at creating a "street lamp noir" with the many dark alley scenes with hoodlums aimlessly wandering. Blame the films disappointing reception and product on the youth that are fanatically obsessed with Scarface. It's their devoted fan base to an average crime film that persuaded Hollywood to make the casting decision of including 50 Cent (Curtis Jackson) siding Al Pacino to sell more tickets.
The films climax and ill twist features a surprising homosexual suggestion. When the audience discovers Pacino was the killer (Called it upon viewing the trailer) and his motive lacked passion or rage, I heard moans and groans. Or maybe it was just my mind overreacting to my own letdown. His M.O. was that Turk (De Niro) disappointed Rooster (Pacino) by planting a gun on a criminal. After all, Turk was his male idol and he holstered a deep love for him. Tony Montana had a deep love for the aging De Niro, how sweet.
When Righteous Kill doesn't patronize you with its lifeless ending or "filler" scenes of personal dysfunctions to boost the darkness of the characters, It can be somewhat-enjoyable. Watching Robert De Niro waddle everywhere scowling at everyone reminiscent to March of the Penguins, however is not. Admission price is not for the film as a whole but for the scene you all wait for. 50 Cent's amazing death. Watching Mr. Jackson take a slug to the back of the head only to rag doll out a window is worth $8.50.