I am getting a little tired of the tough, wounded and grizzled cops movie. I have seen it all before far too many times. Alas, “Pride and Glory” is guilty of dragging out the old characters and the threadbare plotline. I think one episode of “NYPD Blue” has more originality and depth than “Pride and Glory.” And this is a pity because the sterling cast deserves more than this.

Allow me to describe the plot and you decide if it sounds painfully familiar. An Irish American family of cops in the NYPD find themselves torn apart, struggling over the greater worth: family or ethics? In other words, does an honest cop turn against his own flesh and blood (also cops) if they are “dirty?”

Edward Norton plays Ray Tierney, an honest, but emotionally tormented detective with a facial scar that would make a Prussian swordsman swoon. His father is a high ranking, but hard drinking, police official (played by Jon Voight). His brother Francis (Noah Emmerich) is a cop in charge of a rough and tumble gang of dirty cops. (Is he also on the take? That is part of the drama.) Francis and Ray’s brother-in-law, Jimmy Egan (played by Colin Farrell) is one of the four dirty guys. He is married to their sister. Imagine this family at the Christmas dinner table. Oh, wait, you don’t have to imagine it, it is in the movie.

There is also a subplot (that goes nowhere and seems tacked on clumsily) involving Francis’ wife, who has cancer. I am not sure what the point of this was unless we are supposed to feel empathy for him. The same goes for Ray’s pending divorce. Poor guys, they have tough lives at home and at work — I guess — just like all of us.

At the very beginning of the film, four cops are brutally killed in a drug house. It is a real mystery and Pappy Tierney asks his son Ray to join the task force to find the real killers. Ray finds out at the outset that this ambush was the result of dirty cops. And not long after this, he finds out it may involve his brother and brother-in-law. Pappy soon regrets bringing in his youngest (Ray) in because he (Ray) is reluctant to brush the mess under the rug.

So, as I said, what is thicker? Blood or duty?

I have a few problems with this film. This is a movie about an Irish family. So, obviously, we have to have a scene where Ray and Jimmy go at it, fist-slapping each other, in a bar no less, while the soundtrack (or the tavern’s jukebox, I’m not sure) plays an Irish jig. Give me a break! I think this is a bit stereotypically offensive and downright silly. Also the Christmas dinner scene had all the ingredients for a feast of delicious acting flavors, but it came off rather bland to me. It is, to my taste, a missed opportunity ... to serve a virtual buffet of thespian resplendence. (OK, I may have overdone the culinary theme here but you probably get the idea.)

Also, I think the sound technicians should be fired. The actors, in an attempt at sounding like genuine New York street guys, seem as if they are speaking a foreign language ... at least in the first half of the film. Consequently, it sounds like a combination of mumbling and code-speak. I could have benefited from closed captioning. However, an hour into the film, they actually started to sound like normal people and I started to get the gist of their gab.

The film is not a total loss. There is one scene, wherein Jimmy tries to make a bad guy tell him the location of another bad guy. The cops cruelly threaten and terrorize the family to get needed information. It was truly effective and sets us up to accept the coming “just-desserts” of Jimmy, the rotten brother-in-law. And in a second scene, the moral dilemma of the film is resolved in a way that almost redeems the film, but not enough to save it from my shrug of the shoulders.

“Pride and Glory” gets a mediocre two and a half bow ties.

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