Wednesday, September 7, 2011

We Own the Night (2007)

We Own the Night (2007)
Rated R
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Wahlberg, Eva Mendes, Robert Duvall
Directed by: James Gray
Tagline: Two brothers on opposite sides of the law. Beyond their differences lies loyalty.
Running time: 117 Minutes
Quick summary: Two estranged brothers, Bobby, a Nightclub owner, and Joseph, a cop, find themselves forcibly reunited when they both cross paths with Russian mobsters.
I am going to come right out and say it: I was expecting so much more from this movie. With the cast it had, it had potential to be a really great movie. You get Joaquin Phoenix, just after his Oscar nominated turn as Johnny Cash (and before his subsequent loss of sanity) and Mark Wahlberg, who, in my opinion, is a surprisingly good actor. (Was this around the time of the Departed? He was good in that). Should have been lights out. Add in Robert Duvall and Eva Mendes, should have put it over the top.
But something happened along the way. The movie was well written and it was an interesting story, but something was lost from the page to the screen. Actors I thought were really talented seemed to not be wholly into it. Wahlberg was subdued, when he is better suited as an angry or volatile character. Phoenix seemed distracted. At times, it felt like he wasn’t even there. Its kinds of sad, given how strong his performance was in Walk the Line and the fact that I have genuinely enjoyed several of his films.
I was disinterested for the majority of the film. If the actors aren’t into it, how can they expect the audience to be into it? I wouldn’t say I was bored exactly, because I still finished it, but I did take a two day break in between. It was a kind of slow going movie, for the most part. The last 30 minutes or so did pick up some, but not enough to overcome the rest of the movie.
It’s not a bad movie, it’s not a great movie. It’s just ok. There are too many other good to great movies out there worth watching (or re-watching).  
Verdict: Not Better…at least Avatar was pretty to look at.
The Trailer:

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