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One way ticket to Pacinoville

Nickey Hernandez

I used to worship at the feet of Al Pacino, but that was when he had more star wattage than Robert DeNiro and Jack Nicholson.Bobby and Jack maintained their cinematic vigilance in the succeeding decades. Unfortunately, Pacino has gone for the short money on Wilson. No disrespect intended, but Al really hasn’t altered his moves since Ronald Reagan had his last clear thought.And that’s sad, because back in the day, the Pacino delivered the goods.This was a versatile thespian that gave us Michael Corleone, Serpico, and that wonderfully coked up crazy Cuban from Scarface. But the former king of method acting has not upped his game in what my bucktooth hillbilly chums call &quota coon’s age.&quot I have no idea how long a raccoon lives, nor do I know what they taste like grilled over a spit and served with &quotgranny’s special taters.&quot But I do know that Pacino has played the same tired character in his last half dozen films.In Sea of Love, he played a burnt out undercover cop searching for a serial killer. In The Insider, he played a burnt out news producer in search of a killer story. In The Devil’s Advocate, he played a burnt out Satan in search of a killer attorney. In Any Given Sunday, he played a burnt out football coach in search of a killer quarterback. In Heat, he played a burnt out cop in search of a killer bank robber. In Insomnia, he played a burnt out homicide detective in search of a child killer.Guess what? Pacino does it again in his new movie, The Recruit. This time, he plays, Walter Burke, a burnt out CIA recruiter in search of a killer recruit.Once more, Pacino wears the sagging mask of a haggard mentor as he shares his vast CIA knowledge with a raw prospect. The new meat is played by up and coming it-boy, Colin Farrell.Ferrell is a decent actor, but no earth stopper. Still the corporate media has already anointed him the fresh prince of Hollywood.Ferrell has been quick to cash in on his celebrity. Word on the street says this lucky son of a bitch has nailed Britney Spears and Demi Moore in a month’s time. Talk about game, the dude is robbing the cradle and enjoying an experienced filly to boot.The young actor’s role in The Recruit is nothing to brag about. He plays a young computer hotshot lured into the CIA. He’s top of his class at MIT, the world’s greatest computer hacker, and a bartender at Boston’s coolest nightclub.The bright boy could sell his soul to Bill Gates, but instead he falls under Burke’s spell and joins the CIA.Soon the lad is taken to the CIA’s elite training ground where he competes with dozens of other alpha dogs and one sexy alpha bitch. In short order, the young stud endures numerous beatings, stress tests and lie detector exams.All this is required to prove he’s tough enough to work for the same gang of covert liars that got us into the Bay of Pigs, manufactured a reason to bomb Cambodia and failed to get Bin Laden in their crosshairs.Conflict emerges when Burke tells the rookie that his hot looking female counterpart is working for the enemy. The kid is told to spy on the babe. This leads to a series of uninteresting cat and mouse episodes.The Recruit is supposed to be a thriller, but I had the plot wired before the first act closed.When all is said and done, there isn’t much suspense to this film. Instead, we get the same old, familiar Pacino character we know so well.Until next time, Mr. Hernandez has left the theater to suckle granny’s tatters.Nickey Hernandez is a former private investigator, who knows it is better to burn out than to fade away.


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