We Own the night is both written and directed James Gray, Staring Mark Wahlberg, Joaquin Phoenix, Eva Mendes and Robert Duvall. The premise is Phoenix plays the manager of a nightclub while his brother played by Wahlberg has been promoted in the police force and his first act as an officer is to run the narcotics unit. This involves a trip to his brother’s nightclub. Phoenix is then asked to go undercover for the investigation into the Russian mafia squad, things go south and Phoenix is now trying to protect his father, also an officer and his brother.
This film appeared to me at first glance to be a similar premise to The Departed which is a film I love and in my opinion is a classic piece of cinema. This film is only similar to The Departed in the way that we were looking at cops and mafia. This film I have to say is very much a guy’s film, its brutal, violent, tense in the right places and has compelling storyline and plot.
I did think that Wahlberg would have more scenes in this film, however I was not disappointed that Phoenix was given a much larger role and I thought he played it really well. His performance had no flaws in it and not one weak moment which was good to see. Eva Mendes was ok but not enough screen time for her character ment we were only really allowed glimses into her persona before she was removed from the film. A stupid desicion on her characters part to leave and go back home to her family, though understandable would lead to her and her families death surely.
David Grey knows how to create tension as he’s does in many of the scenes in this film, including the scene of Phoenix dealing with the russian Maffia. This was a highlight of a scene for me, it had the tention and that hint of death and felt like it lasted for a long time despite its probable 3 minute run.
I felt Wahlberg could have been given a tad more screen time as I felt we never really got deep into the mind set of his character so was a for a moment confused when he falls down in the cornfield with a very brief flash back to the masked men who had shot him months before. This scene would have been powerful expect we don’t really get that connected to him as a person so this was not as powerful as an effect as im sure the director would have hoped it to be.
OVERALL ***1/2 This film is good, its hard going but not due to hard watching but because of the nature of the film. This is for sure a guys film and if you are a fan of American cop and Gangster films then I would recommend this to you to watch.