The true story of Danny Greene, an impoverished but charismatic young Irish-American who rises to power as president of the longshoreman's local union and is charged with corruption but evades serious jail time by becoming an FBI informant. With fearless nerve he joins forces with a Mafia gangster to rise to power in Cleveland's underworld, gaining the reputation of a Robin Hood-like figure with nine lives as he escapes countless assassination attempts. Written by
Val Kilmer joined the production after he declined the opportunity to run for Governor of his home state of New Mexico. See more »
In a wide shot of the alley shown before Danny talks to the gamblers, a skyscraper with a brightly-lit DTE Energy sign at its pinnacle is visible in the background. DTE Energy didn't exist until 1995, 20 years or so after the scene takes place. See more »
B Movie bad-ass Ray Stevenson finally given a chance to shine and show his range!
'KILL THE IRISHMAN': Three and a Half Stars (Out of Five)
Another organized crime biopic, this one focuses on the infamous 70's union rep turned gangster Danny Greene. The film stars B movie tough guy (and notable character thug) Ray Stevenson as Greene. It was written (with co-writer Jeremy Walters) and directed by Jonathan Hensleigh and adapted from the book 'To Kill The Irishman' by Rick Porrello. Hensleigh is most well known for writing and co-writing such blockbuster action films as 'DIE HARD: WITH A VENGEANCE' and 'ARMAGEDON'. He also directed the films 'WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE' and 'THE PUNISHER' (which it's sequel, 'PUNISHER: WAR ZONE', starred Stevenson). The film co-stars the likes of Vincent D'Onofrio, Val Kilmer, Christopher Walken, Linda Cardellini, Vinnie Jones, Robert Davi, Paul Sorvino and other well known character actors. It's a little clichéd and by the numbers (it's certainly nothing we haven't seen before in the gangster crime genre) but it is entertaining and interesting to a certain extent, more so than a lot of others in my opinion.
Danny Greene was a well known Irish gangster in Cleveland in the 1970's. He started his career in organized crime working as a longshoreman labor union representative until he was busted. He was released in an arrangement that he would turn over any information and evidence he uncovered, in his future crime dealings, to the police (which he did very little of). He was eventually loved and admired by the public (as sort of a modern day Robin Hood) and hated by his criminal rivals. He became famously hard to kill as he continued to miraculously survive many attempts on his life. The film focuses on his relationships with fellow criminal businessmen, including John Nardi (D'Onofrio) and Shondor Birns (Walken), as well as his family, other love interests (Laura Ramsey) and a local cop (Kilmer) he knew since he was a kid.
I'm not a big fan of biopics or mobster films like this. I admire the film craftsmanship of popular crime films like 'THE GODFATHER' and 'GOODFELLAS' but they're far from my favorite films. I don't especially like the element that the viewer is left with no one to root for and all of the lead characters are pretty morally despicable (although organized criminals probably have a lot higher standards and respectable moral qualities than most other successful businessman). With that said the film is more fascinating and entertaining than most others of it's type. The actors are all good and well cast, especially Stevenson. He's always been a cool action bad ass in films before but here he's really given a chance to show off his acting abilities and range. His performance combined with Hensleigh's better than average directing make the film one definitely worth checking out. Probably especially if you're a fan of the genre.
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