The Devil’s Own

MPAA Rated – R
It’s 1:41 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

The Devil’s Own
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Harrison Ford, Brad Pitt
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: Columbia Pictures
Release Date: 1997
Kiddie Movie: Not really. There’s no sex, but lots of gunfire and the story might get them bored.
Date Movie: Sure. Guys can talk about the kills and the girls can talk about how cute Brad Pitt is.
Gratuitous Sex: Nope.
Gratuitous Violence: Lots of quality kills, especially at the beginning.
Action: Some suspense moments, but no real car chases.
Laughs: A couple placed nicely.
Memorable Scene: Everyone but Brad and his buddy getting blown away in the big gunfight at the beginning of the movie.
Memorable Quote: When Brad comes in to Harrison’s house, Harrison Ford says “It’s good to have someone here that pees standing up.”
Directed By: Alan J Pakula

I’m was kinda worried going in to see “The Devil’s Own.” Yep, this was the movie where it seemed every entertainment show on TV and the entertainment magazines were having stories about the troubles on the set. Brad Pitt said this, Harrison Ford was having problems on the set, the story keeps changing, Sony’s suing Brad, Harrison’s pissed; you name it, it seems someone said it, and people had this movie doomed before the trailers even hit the theater. Then I saw the trailer and thought to myself that it sure doesn’t look that bad – maybe they all pulled it together and two of Hollywood’s premier actors made nice and made a great movie. Well, I don’t know if they made nice or not, but I do know they made a good movie – not great, but good none the less.

In its simplest term “The Devil’s Own” is about an Irish Republican Army dude, played by Brad Pitt, coming to America to score some cool weapons, in this case some stinger missiles. Harrison Ford meanwhile is playing an Irish cop on the streets of New York who has only shot his gun four times in his 23ish years on the force. He’s got his own problems with his partner, and the last thing he really needs is a criminal staying in his house, but he gets duped by an IRA supporting judge to let Pitt stay in his house, and in the end it turns into a clash between a cop and a criminal. Not always liking deep and meaningful story lines, I personally think they should have left the story at that – let’s have some quality kills, good guys versus bad guys, and maybe blow up some stuff. But no, they gave this film a meaning and maybe for some people that’s what they liked about it, but for me, it made the film a little slow at times.

So, where do all of these meanings and lessons to be learned come in? Well, it seems Frankie, the IRA dude played by Pitt, got to see his dad gunned down when he was a little boy. This turns him into one of the most wanted IRA members in the old country. You’ve got little Frankie growing up without a dad, becoming a great killer supporting his cause, and low and behold, you place Frankie, who has probably shot as many people as Rambo, in a house where dad’s got three daughters and his wife. Yep, you get the feeling dad, played by Harrison, always wanted a son, and now he’s got one, too bad for him it’s Frankie. Well, not to ruin a lot of things because the story does have some surprises, but some of the overblown messages permeating this movie for me were ones like – we can’t understand the fighting in Ireland because we’re not a part of it; if you’ve got a gun you should shoot people with it; even the best of cops are crooked; and people in Ireland don’t eat corned beef and cabbage.

Now I know that this movie wasn’t supposed to be just another action movie, it was supposed to teach us something, but I think the social messages were overblown for my tastes. Sure, put them in the movie, but don’t ram shove them down my throat with a plunger.

Now, getting past all of that stuff, “The Devil’s Own” is still a pretty decent movie played by two of the best actors out there. Harrison Ford plays the “torn between the good guy and bad guy” role perfectly. He comes off as the perfect family man, a great cop who has dedicated his life to protecting and serving rather than blowing away the bad guys, and just being an all around good guy. Brad Pitt, in total contrast, is the consummate bad guy, able to shoot anyone at the slightest sign of danger, able to ram his now good friend Harrison’s head into a window, and hell bent on getting those stinger missiles. Viscous and brutal meets Mr. Nice Guy – it’s a great plan but just sometimes drags a little.

You’ve got some action, some surprises, but some spots slow the movie to a crawl. If you like a movie that preaches more than it teaches, “The Devil’s Own” will be for you. If you’re looking for an action movie like the adds seem to show you might be a little disappointed.

It’s 2 1/2 stars out of 5 from me and that’s it for this one. I’m The Dude on the Right, L8R!!