We Own the Night
Joaquin Phoenix plays Bobby Green. A successful nightclub manager for the Russian mob. He has connections all over town, is loved and respected by his peers. He dabbles in drugs and alcohol.
He also has a big secret, ones he’s been hiding all his adult life. His father is the Police Chief and his brother is moving up in the police ranks.
Things are about to come to a head however, as its 1988 and the drug wars are about to start. When Bobby’s brother (played by Mark Wahlberg) has a hit put on him by a Russian drug lord, Bobby decides to do the prodigal son bit and join his real family, taking it to the Russians.
Mark Wahlberg, Joaquin Phoenix and Robert DuVall in a movie about cops, Russian Drug Lords and organised crime. It’s the perfect mix for a killer, action packed, police drama.
But it isn’t.
Director James Gray in his third time at directing, treats this promising action flick like it’s a serious drama, stripping away most of the acting, but forgetting to put in any character development. He also seems to forget that his actors need a little direction to be able to deliver good performances.
It’s a pity really, as the storyline is very promising. Take out the gratuitous intro scene with Eva Mendes, throw some action scenes in the mix, get some character development going and you have a great modern take on the story of the prodigal son.
Sadly all we really have with We Own The Night is a bland revenge flick that meanders to a predictable ending.
Food for thought
The older brother stalked off in an angry sulk and refused to join in. Luke 15:28 MSG
The older son in Jesus’ parable of the Prodigal Son is upset at his father for throwing his brother a party. He doesn’t think his brother deserves the party, and has decided to show just how he feels by boycotting the party. In doing so he lets his attitude get in the way of having a good time (parties are always fun, right?) and ultimately disappoints his father.
A bad attitude can ruin your day, just by putting yourself in a negative space. More importantly it can bring those around you down. If we try and choose to have a good attitude no matter what comes our way, the world becomes a better place.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read.
Rating: R16 – Violence, Offensive Language & Drug Use.
Duration: 118 mins.
Actors: Robert DuVall, Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Wahlberg, Eva Mendes.
Director: James Gray.
Distributor: Paramount Pictures.
Release Date: 21-02-2008.