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Joaquin Phoenix Owns the Night

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July 14th, 2009

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We Own the Night, starring Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Wahlberg, and Eva Mendes is New York Cops versus Dealers set in 1988.

There are enough of drugs, guns, and emotions running high to get anyone hooked.

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Mark Wahlberg and Joaquin Phoenix play very different brothers. Wahlberg plays Joe; the good son, who followed in his father’s footsteps into the police force. Phoenix plays Bob; the rebel son who went on to manage one of Brooklyn’s hottest clubs. The brothers cross paths when Joe busts Bob’s club, trying to catch a Russian dealer based at Bob’s club.

It seems to me that all cop v. dealer movies are very similar: cops make bust, cops don’t have enough on head hauncho, cops find someone on the inside to spy, dealers find out about the snitch, cops and snitch have to cleverly figure out how to catch the dealers without anymore inside information and along the way, several people get hurt, intensifying the need to catch the Bad Guy.

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We Own the Night is no exception. Joe is the cop, overly eager to catch the dealer. Bob eventually becomes the snitch, putting his life at risk. It becomes a race to find the bad guys when they have a hit on Bob’s head.

I couldn’t really figure out Eva Mendes’s place in the movie, though. She plays Amada, Bob’s girlfriend. Amada and Bob seem to be truly in love, but other than being the only club-goer who knows Bob’s ties to the police force, she doesn’t really do much. I think she was mainly there to be the sex object so men would stay focused when the movie got a little dry.

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The Verdict:
The movie was long. It was interesting to see the interactions between two people leading such different lives and how they come to work together, but I wasn’t enthralled in the experience.

It’s a good movie if you’re in the mood to be serious. Also, if you’re into the cops chasing bad guys thing.

I wouldn’t watch it again, though.

The Quibbler

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