A thriller about an IRA gunman who draws an American family into the crossfire of terrorism. Frankie McGuire is one of the IRA's deadliest assassins. But when he is sent to the U.S. to buy weapons, Frankie is housed with the family of Tom O'Meara, a New York cop who knows nothing about Frankie's real identity. Their surprising friendship, and Tom's growing suspicions, force Frankie to choose between the promise of peace or a lifetime of murder.Written by
Robert Lynch <firstname.lastname@example.org>
..."The Devil's Own" from 1997 isn't a great film.
Starring Harrison Ford, Brad Pitt, Treat Williams, Ruben Blades, and Margaret Colin, the story concerns a Northern Ireland IRA terrorist, Frankie McGuire, who comes to New York to buy weapons. Using the name of Rory Delaney, a judge, Peter Fitzsimmons puts him up at the home of an Irish cop, Tom O'Meara. O'Meara has no idea of Frankie's identity.
Rory has brought a ton of money with him and is supposed to make a deal with one Billy Burke (Williams). When he is told by his superiors in Ireland to hold off, Burke gets tough and wants the money. When Tom's house is robbed, his wife held at gunpoint, but nothing taken, Tom begins to wonder about his houseguest. With good reason.
Tom himself is having a crisis of conscience when he supports his partner Eddie (Blades) by lying about a shooting.
This could have been an excellent film, as it's about two men with completely different moral codes, both believing they're right. Frankie saw his father killed in front of him when he was eight years old, and this started him on the road to killings. Tom has drawn his gun only a few times in all the years he's been a police officer. The problem is that this is muddied by the script being somewhat pro-terrorism.
In today's climate, pro-terrorist films with sympathetic killers don't go over well. As someone pointed out, if this had been about someone from the Middle East partly responsible for 9/11 portrayed this way, it probably wouldn't be made.
Brad Pitt does a good job, despite some of his accent problems. Harrison Ford is solid but a little boring. The ending was the best part.
We don't hear much about the Irish conflict anymore, but years ago, many charities purportedly for Irish children were fronts for collecting money to support the IRA. My sister pointed this out to an Irish friend once, who was about to give such a charity some money, and she said, "So what?" So what? Terrorism isn't right, no matter which side resorts to it. It's understandable that Frankie/Rory had strong feelings, but there are other ways to deal with them.
Kind of annoying.
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