A mentally unstable Vietnam war veteran works as a night-time taxi driver in New York City where the perceived decadence and sleaze feeds his urge for violent action, attempting to save a preadolescent prostitute in the process.
Robert De Niro,
The early life and career of Vito Corleone in 1920s New York is portrayed while his son, Michael, expands and tightens his grip on his crime syndicate stretching from Lake Tahoe, Nevada to pre-revolution 1958 Cuba.
Hunters and their prey--Neil and his professional criminal crew hunt to score big money targets (banks, vaults, armored cars) and are, in turn, hunted by Lt. Vincent Hanna and his team of cops in the Robbery/Homicide police division. A botched job puts Hanna onto their trail while they regroup and try to put together one last big 'retirement' score. Neil and Vincent are similar in many ways, including their troubled personal lives. At a crucial moment in his life, Neil disobeys the dictum taught to him long ago by his criminal mentor--'Never have anything in your life that you can't walk out on in thirty seconds flat, if you spot the heat coming around the corner'--as he falls in love. Thus the stage is set for the suspenseful ending.... Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
I really believe this is one the great crime movies of all time. It has some drawbacks that wouldn't make me recommend this for family viewing
tons of f- words by Al Pacino and a few bloody scenes, but as far as
a fascinating crime story: wow!
This movie made modern-day history because it was the first time two of the great actors of this generation - Pacino and Robert De Niro - finally acted together in the same film. Those two didn't disappoint, either. They were great to watch and one of the huge highlights of the film, to me, was when they faced each other in a simple conversation over a cup of coffee. That conversation has always fascinated me, no matter how many times I've heard it. It was such a "landmark" scene that It's even the subject of a short documentary on the special-edition DVD.
As with the conversation scene, the shootout segment in the streets of Los Angeles still astounds me no matter how many times I see it. The other action scenes are intense and memorable, too, and the cast in here is deep. This isn't just Pacino and De Niro. It's Val Kilmer, Ashley Judd, Jon Voight, Diana Venora, Natlie Portman, Tom Sizemore, Amy Brenamann, Wes Studi, Ted Levine, Mykelti Williamson, on and on.
Put that fabulous cast under Michael Mann, one of the best directors in business, add a great soundtrack and interesting camera-work and you have a great film. At three hours long, it never bores one and at same time, doesn't overdo the action, either. I read one critic criticize this film because of the time taken to examine the personal lives of the main characters, but you can't have three hours of nothing but action. The only scene I felt went on a bit too long was the ending chase at the airport, but that's nitpicking considering the film as a whole.
This is just one of those movies where a great cast and director live up to their billing.
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