An undercover cop and a mole in the police attempt to identify each other while infiltrating an Irish gang in South Boston. (IMDb)
The double-deception plot is almost too perfect, given all the suspense and intrigue it generates, and with DiCaprio’s violent Billy and Damon’s more subtly unscrupulous Colin, offers a nuanced take on good guy and bad guy archetypes that’s further complicated by a smoky love triangle sub-plot and capped off by a bloody, twist-filled final act (the final shot was admittedly a bit much). Colourful dialogue and great gritty music and cinematography round out this impeccably acted crime drama.
Two hardened criminals get into trouble with the US border patrol after meeting with a Mexican drug lord, and then revelations start to unfold. (IMDb)
There’s an intriguing mash-up of gritty drug drama and shoot-em up buddy cop comedy here, but a slightly convoluted narrative and constant movement between the genres hinders either aspect from gaining enough steam to have a lasting impact–and middling supporting turns for Wahlberg and Washington’s steady leads don’t help. There’s some good moments here (usually more comedic than dramatic) and the double secret identity premise is fun, but the film lacks a solid and steady screenplay.
Two mismatched New York City detectives seize an opportunity to step up like the city’s top cops whom they idolize — only things don’t quite go as planned. (IMDb)
The pairing of Wahlberg’s hilariously angry and ultra-serious Terry with Ferrell’s calm and nerdy Allen here makes for numerous laugh-out-loud moments throughout; they have great dialogue in between the outrageous action scenes, and are supported by a consistently funny secondary cast. The great humour here makes the plot incidental, but it ends up being given serious thought (see the end credits) which feels unnecessary and try-hard in what is otherwise just a simple buddy-cop comedy.
A mixed-bag of a film: The plot leading up Suzy’s murder is full of wonderfully uncomfortable edge-of-your-seat suspense, and the emotion and drama that follow her death in dealing with the loss and looking for the killer is just as captivating, and is captured by excellent camerawork and great performances all around. The mystical afterlife scenes, however, feel fluffy and boring in comparison with the gritty suspense of the scenes on earth. Overall, a good movie that could have been great.