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obviously not a high budget Hollywood film, but that's part of why it's so good. please excuse the broken 'shift' button on my laptop. the movie is based out of Boston, so being from ma, that was pretty neat. they get geography wrong and mess up names, they say that brockton is by the harbor, and they interchangeably use Somerville and somerset, but who cares? the quality of the filming is up there with Hollywood. they use what i would assume to be no-name local artists for music which is cool. the plot is not the same old thing that Hollywood puts out every day and they tie in some local references. the movie is about a power struggle after big Jim, who is obviously supposed to be whitey, leaves after being tipped off about a federal indictment. they are true to real life in depicting the FBI as criminals of lower class than the organized crime figures themselves. don't get me wrong, it's plenty cheesy at times but it's a low budget film and i really liked it. it's no 'departed' or 'gone baby gone' but it's definitely worth watching, especially if you're from new england or you've followed whitey bulger at all. this probably wouldn't have quite as much appeal to people from the west coast or the Midwest as it does to a new englander.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Madso's War" is a gritty but predictable made-for-television crime thriller about gang warfare in Boston. Unfortunately, you've seen this story unfold before in better movies made for the big screen such as "The Departed," "The Town," "State of Grace," and the two "Boondock Saints" epics. Director Rob Marcus and "Battle Los Angeles" scenarist Christopher Bertolini keep the action moving swiftly enough so that it doesn't bog down in details. Basically, after a notorious crime bossbased on real-life kingpin James "Whitey" Bulger--vanishes, the men who served under him grow fractious and start killing each other. The problem with Bertolini's actioneer is that it lacks the ingredients to be a first-rate thriller. The characters are neither interesting nor amusing. They don't stand out and nothing about them is distinctive. There is no comic relief and nothing memorable occurs. The murders and the executions look moderately bloody for a television movie, but this shoot'em up neither seizes you nor surprises you with twists and turns. Instead, "Madso's War" emerges as straightforward and standard-issue. Matthew Marsden is fine as the eponymous street hood who goes to war against rival gangsters after they ice two of his crew. Harris Yulin appears briefly as the legendary crime boss who disappears after the Feds indict him. He has one gory scene in a public restroom where he smashes an innocent bystander's head against a stall wall. Not only does he leave a power vacuum in his wake, but also he has stashed about $12 million from a job. Our hero's friends let Madso down on a job and try to unearth the fortune that the crime boss salted away. They ransack the crime boss's house and inadvertently start a war that destroys the place. Michel 'Madso' Madden (Matthew Marsden of "Rambo") is the equivalent of a foot soldier. He grew up Southie part of Boston and stands between two sets of goons. The first set is run by Gerry Walker (Kevin Chapman of CBS-TV's "Person of Interest") and a duo known only as the two Dannys. One of the Dannys is Danny Driscoll (Daniel Patrick Kelly of "Commando") and the Dannys and Gerry are constantly at each other's throats, with a couple of corrupt Boston cops skulking on the sidelines. Madso summons a relative from Ireland (Timothy V. Murphy) to watch his back while his friends drop like flies and everybody turns on him because it is business. "Madso's War" qualifies as a pale imitation of better crime thrillers.
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