Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Movie Review: We Own the Night

We Own the Night stars some of Hollywood's heavy hitters like Robert Duvall, Joachim Pheonix, Mark Wahlberg and Eva Mendez. It takes place in the late eighties where Bobby Green (Joachim Pheonix) manages the El Caribe nightclub in Brooklyn. Unlike his brother Joe (Mark Wahlberg) and father (Robert Duvall) who's the deputy police chief he's chosen a much different life, he lives for the excitement that comes with the nightlife, the women, the booze and drugs and the shady people who go along with that lifestyle. Bobby has embraced the lifestyle and is a shrewd business man looking to expand into NYC and shares his plans with the owners, a Russian family that he has befriended.
Events are set in motion when his brother raids Bobby's club in an attempt to catch a ruthless gangster who is frequently dealing there. Later a hit is put on Joe and is gunned down in front of his house. Bobby feels responsible and offers to assist in an undercover sting operation that his father is not aware of, the plan goes south and Bobby barely escapes with his life. Now Bobby must be put in protective custody until he can testify, but the drug dealing Russian gangster escapes and finds out where Bobby's hiding. After a deadly car chase/shootout Bobby decides to switch sides and joins the NYPD.
This sounds like an amazing story with plenty of opportunity for drama, but the movie dragged in many places for me, like the scene when Joe returns home from the hospital or the Q Motor Inn scene, the final minutes of the film were a snooze fest for me. I wasn't to crazy for the role Mark Wahlberg played in this movie, I liked his character much better in The Departed. Joachim Pheonix seemed more comfortable playing the club manager and did well with it but seemed lethargic and borderline bored playing the cop. He didn't seem very energetic by the end of the movie. There were some great moments of tension like the scene where Bobby is brought to the secret location blindfolded and the car chase scene with Robert Duvall but the momentum always seemed to be broken by Bobby's friends, Amanda or NYPD. A perfect example of the flow of this movie is at the very beginning when Bobby and Amanda are making out in his office, that was a great scene but was interrupted by the phone! Another thing, I didn't see the brotherly chemistry between Wahlberg and Pheonix either. And the surprise revelation at the end about who was trafficking the drugs was apparent from the beginning....to me.