By Fred Topel | Image property of Columbia Pictures.
We Own the Night
We Own the Night opens with Eva Mendes's booby, so there's a hook if I ever saw one. It's pretty slow and "moody" for a while but overall it's a decent piece. If I weren't stuck in a theater, I might have a hard time sticking with it, but with nowhere else to go, it might suck you in.
Review: We Own the Night
Bobby Green (Joaquin Phoenix) isn't a cop like his brother Joseph (Mark Wahlberg) and father Burt (Robert Duvall). He doesn't even use their last name. He runs a nightclub and turns a blind eye to the drug dealing that goes on there. When the criminals hit home, even Bobby can't ignore the family business any longer.
There is a lot of setup of the various worlds in the film. There's the cop world, the club world, the drug world, the relationship world of Bobby and his hot Latina girlfriend (Mendes). It's all fairly familiar but I guess they need to set it all up in case this is the first cop movie you've ever seen.
There's a lot of police procedure in drug busts and the brothers fighting. There are a few surprises in the first act, and the fact that none of Bobby's club friends know his family are cops creates an issue when the worlds intersect.
As the drama builds up, it seems realistic as things evolve slowly. The mechanics of informing play out before things start to explode. At that point, it becomes more clear why the film is so deliberately paced. This is the realistic cop movie.
So there aren't guys flying through the air with double guns. They're just blasting away in chaos. People don't fall from heights and get right up. The film's best scene is a car chase played as mundane reality. So if you're up for something different, that's what could make We Own the Night stand out.
They never make it clear who actually owns the night. It's not the cops. They don't seem to be owning anything. But between the clubbers and the dealers, they only seem to be renting the night at best.