The title of this film is "Righteous Kill" not "Kills" or "Killing."
The film "Righteous Kill" was directed by Jon Avnet (88 minutes; Fried Green Tomatoes). The writer was Russell Gewirtz (Inside Man). The stars of the film are Robert DeNiro as Turk and Al Pacino as Rooster. The supporting cast includes Carla Gugino as Karen Corelli, Brian Dennehy as Hingis, John Leguizamo as Simon Perez, and Donnie Wahlberg as Ted Riley as members of the police department. 50 cent plays the role of Spider, a club owner. (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1034331/fullcredits#cast)
The story focuses on 14 killings of bad people. Opening in the film we see Turk coaching a girls softball team and getting into a dispute with the umpire, but he backs off. Next, we see Rooster playing several chess games at once and talking about his relatives. Right after that, fuzzy black and white film of DeNiro shows him saying he is "David Fisk" saying he has killed 14 people. Throughout the film there are snippets back to these three things and we learn a little more about each man from them. We learn that Turk's wife died young and he raised his daughter alone. We learn that Rooster wins at chess, even when he's playing multiple boards at once. We learn more about the killings--who and why. Between the fuzzy black and white film segments we see the criminals although we never see them commit a crime. We see plenty of evidence that they are bad people. We see them arrested or accused or acquitted. Turk planted evidence to lead to conviction of the only criminal in the film who ended up in prison. As far as we know, all the rest of these "criminals" may have been falsely accused. The film also goes through all the scenes of the criminals being killed and we never see the killer until the last one.
Early on in the film we also learn that both Turk and Rooster are expert marksmen. When they take aim, they hit the mark.
The story is a psychological thriller. When Rooster suggests that the serial killer may be a cop, he stirs up a lot of internal trouble. They suspect each other and the viewer can see why. Turk is the leading suspect because he knew all of the criminals and he already had planted evidence to convict a man. Karen Corelli gets sexually aroused from violence and has knowledge of all the cases. Perez has a hot temper. Riley is Perez's partner and is suspect by association. Lieutenant Hingis is played for a fool as much as anyone else. One by one, the reasons why each suspect cannot be the killer become clear. The least suspect among them, as is typical, turns out to be the really bad guy.
Acting was supurb, as you would expect from such a fine cast. The story is full of twists and turns despite the delineation of the 14 serieal killings. Baseball references were Turk's metaphors for life. Chess was Rooster's metaphor for life. Mixed metaphors confuse intent. Maybe viewers are supposed to think on that and figure out who the serial killer should be.
The unraveling of the story line has a twist at the end. At the end the story leads to only two viable suspects. For the final serial killing we see clearly who pulled the trigger. At the end it is one suspect against the other and we know one of them will be dead soon, but not before all the talking has revealed the reasons, disappointments, the blame.
This is where the film fell apart for this reviewer. In the final moments of the "Righteous Kill," knowing both cops were expert marksmen, I kept wondering why one had to kill the other. Why not just shoot him in the arm to make him drop the gun?
The film kept my attention most of the way, only breaking down at the very end. I found little to like about most of the characters. I ultimately did not care about their internal struggles or what they did.