In Alan J. Pakula’s new film, Brad Pitt is secretly a member of the IRA hiding out in the basement of Harrison Ford’s New York home. Ford, one of New York’s finest, thinks Pitt is a nice Irish boy who just needs a little help getting his s**t together in this new country. Pitt is actually waiting for the go-ahead to buy some missiles off of toughy Treat Williams so that he can sail a boat back home to kill those large and in charge. Too bad impatient Treat and his goons want the money yesterday because things may get ugly.
This movie is only really interesting during the moments of physical conflict that pop up throughout the film. These few scenes are well executed and riveting as hell. The fact, however, that this could have been a damn fine action movie only makes “The Devil’s Own” that much more disappointing as the drama it tries too hard to be.
Brad Pitt’s attempt at an Irish accent is at times a bit distracting, seeming as authentic as that five dollar Rolex you bought at the New York bus station. Once again we are given the “we are good friends now, but I must take you down because I am a man of the law and you have done wrong” device that too many movies are using. Hell yes, this works for John Woo but only because he’s the one guy who doesn’t take it this seriously.
Ultimately “The Devil’s” downfall is that we are never trusted to be intelligent enough to figure anything out for ourselves. It’s all crammed down our throat. Subtlety does not exist in this world. Pakula must be worrying we aren’t paying attention when he has the characters repeat important lines from earlier scenes in the film.
Ford does a good job as usual, but luckily you can choose from three much better movies featuring Han Solo, I mean Ford, at your local theater. But if you still plan on spending your hard-earned money on “The Devil’s Own” let my paraphrasing of Pitt’s character be a warning: (must read with fake Irish accent) “Don’t look for a surprising ending. Its not an American story. Its a poopy one.”