Righteous Kill Jon Avnet

Righteous Kill Jon Avnet
Though the misleadingly titled documentary "An In-Depth Look at Righteous Kill" is little more than a 14-minute puff piece, it does offer a fairly revealing look at how this long-awaited Robert De Niro/Al Pacino collaboration became so flaccid. "To be in the same room and actually working together [with Pacino and De Niro] is exciting," says Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson. "When this opportunity came, I pretty much would have been okay sweeping the floors for a shot to work with those guys," says Donnie Wahlberg. "To experience their enormous talents… and to be a part of it is a great treat," says Brian Dennehy. Evidently, everyone was so high off the idea of bringing together De Niro and Pacino for their first major collaboration (they shared only a single scene in the otherwise incomparably superior Heat) that it was assumed the stars' charismas would carry the film. Perhaps the starry cast (which also includes Carla Gugino and John Leguizamo) should have checked the filmography of director Jon Avnet, whose previous film was Pacino's worst-ever movie, 88 Minutes. Righteous Kill is far better than 88 Minutes but it's still little more than serviceable, direct-to-video-calibre material. The two legends star as weary NYPD cops on the trail of a killer targeting the city's underworld. The catch: all signs point to De Niro as the perpetrator. As forgettable and innocuous as their adventures become, there is undeniable pleasure in seeing these two veterans together, even when they're coasting. But dare I suggest this un-ambitious movie would have been more satisfying if it had starred Jean-Claude Van Damme and Steven Seagal? Now that would be a B-movie without pretension. (Alliance)