The Devil’s Own (1997)

Finally, I get to see these two work together!!

After seeing British soldiers gun down his father as a child, Frankie McGuire (Brad Pitt) joins the Irish Republican Army, determined to avenge his father’s death, and sails to America to buy weapons from an underground arms dealer. Going by the alias of Rory Devaney, Frankie moves into the home of cop Tom O’Meara (Harrison Ford), who, when he learns of Rory’s agenda, must choose between his sympathy for a troubled man and his desire for justice.

The film is directed by Alan J. Pakula, and with his other films like The Pelican Brief and Presumed Innocent, you can pretty much tell he loves creating these type of political-violent thrillers. With this one though, I don’t think it was one of his strongest.

The beginning shows how Pitts father is gunned down in front of him. But what is never explained is why he was gunned down in the first place. So instead of further elaborating on this, the film takes a flash-forward to Pitt as an adult. This bothered me cause I never really understood why this happened at all.

But how could you make a movie about the violence in Northern Ireland, and never ever even bring up the words Catholic and Protestant, or even for that matter British? Honestly, if you are going to have a film about this subject then there must be some at least reasoning of what religion is which and why they are fighting.

The one thing that saves this film is its performances from its leaders. Harrison Ford and Brad Pitt, both play two superb characters that at first you don’t really know or care about yet. But, by the end you start to really be able to relate to these characters and you start to like them as it goes along. Pitt, if you can get past his really funny Irish accent, actually has a scene or two where shows his abilities as an actor early in his career. They both have good chemistry from start to finish and that is what makes me like this film a lot more than the other ones.

The ending for this film is what is really bad though. I felt like with this ending they wrote it over 4,000 times, and just ended with this final play because they had nothing else better.

Consensus: The Devil’s Own has powerful performances from Pitt and Ford, but feels a lot more jumbled together, and isn’t too clear about certain parts of the story, if just leaving some out.


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