This was an Irish story.
That's what they keep telling us throughout the film, and it means we can expect the unexpected, and that not everything will work out in the end.
I thought it just meant they drink a lot.
The Devil's Own is an Irish story about an Irish New York cop played by good-old American boy Harrison Ford and an Irish terrorist played by California surfer boy Brad Pitt. See, Pitt is a member of the IRA, which apparently doesn't mean that he's some kind of banker, and he bunks up with hapless but trustworthy Ford until...well hell, I don't need to tell you, you've seen the trailer.
What is it with today's trailers? Last year, Ransom came out with a trailer that gave away the entire movie, and everyone hated the damn thing because they new the whole movie, but they went out and saw it and Ransom made $135 million so now every damn studio is giving us the entire story in the trailer hoping that lightning will strike twice.
Talk about dumb. I mean I know Hollywood tends to think en mass when possible, but come on guys, isn't anyone out there using their noggin? The purpose of a trailer is to get us excited about the movie. Tease us, entice us. Not to sum up the film in a four minute clip. Ransom did not make all it's money because of the trailer, it made it in spite of it's trailer. New rule. You can only give the entire movie away if it stars Mel Gibson. After that, you're on your own.
The movie is...OK. Not great, not terrible, just... OK.
See the main problem here is the movie just doesn't know who it wants to be the good guy.
This could be Harrison Ford's movie, where he's a New York cop who unsuspectingly welcomes an IRA terrorist into his home, or it could be Brad Pitt's movie where this revolutionary hides out from oppression in an attempt to strike a victory for his people. Ah hell, it could just as well be Ruben Blade's movie where this good cop makes a fatal mistake and has to find a way to make up for his error of judgment.
Hell it could be Jim Extra's movie where an innocent garbage truck driver finds himself in the middle of a shoot-out, it'd still be a pretty dull film.
It drags. It is long. It is quite violent. Not all of these are bad things, but they don't add up together well.
It starts us with a nice shoot-out, but then the action stops after the getaway (What, no one thinks to cover the back door anymore?)
In order to make this movie work, there are huge leaps of logic that both amaze and astound. A team of men trashing a room can't find the hidden bag, but Harrison finds it in the first place he looks? There are others, too numerous to mention. The word on the street is that this movie was difficult to make, that Pitt got his part enlarged. (Hell, I'd love to get my part enlarged, but that's a personal subject.) In the end, this is Brad's story, and Harrison is filler. Which is stupid, because this is Harrison Ford, and he should have more screen time than all the other actors in the film combined. You can see where this movie was once headed, as Harrison's story, and it would have been a better film. Harrison's character goes through the metamorphosis, he goes through the journey, Pitt is just angry all the time. Stupid punk kid.
Is the director trying to make a statement with this baby? Yeah, you get that impression, although not as strong as if it had been made by, say, Oliver Stone. This is a heavy picture, an Irish story, prepare to be bummed.
I give The Devil's Own 2 3/4 Babylons. Shame on these guys for making a Harrison Ford movie that gets such a low rating. Harrison is God, and his works should be treated as such. Next time, don't let the punk surfer freak ruin your movie, got it?
On a stronger note, some great previews this weekend. Men in Black, Con Air, The Lost World, The Fifth Element and Air Force One (Harrison's next pic, and it looks much better.) Man, I tell you, summer is going to be great.
Thing is, we're not exactly sure when summer starts this year. Last year was easy, it started with Twister. But Hollywood has discovered that you can make a mint by releasing blockbuster movies year round. So does summer start on Memorial Day with the release of The Lost World? Does it start earlier in May with the release of The Fifth Element? Or does it even start in April with the release of Volcano?
I have no friggin' idea. I'll let you know when Mr. Self-Made Critic decides.
Because when you come right down to it, it's his decision.