Chopper tells the intense story of Mark "Chopper" Read, a legendary criminal who wrote his autobiography while serving a jail sentence in prison. His book, "From the Inside", upon which the film is based, was a best-seller.
Starts well, then collapses under the weight of its own self satisfaction
This is a film that looks outstanding. It has that feel of the best seventies cinema. The acting similarly is outstanding but still, a few things stop it from being the stone cold classic it could have been.
The cracks started to show when Cogan(Pitt) has his first talk with Mickey(Gandolfini). It's the latest in a long series of head to heads that play out more like acting master-classes than anything relating to the film. That scene effectively breaks the spell and reminds us that we are watching "good quality acting" combined with "a good script".
The film seems to go off the rails after this. Any charm or involvement is soon stopped by another showy scene from the director who seems more concerned with showing off his film making skills than actually making a good film.
The final thing that jars is Brad Pitt. He had the same effect on Fight Club. Pitt is too big a star for a film like this. He simply doesn't convince as the cynical cold blooded killer. Why would such a man spend that much time on his physical appearance for instance?. A more earthy, hard boiled actor could have made the character believable.
Not a bad film but overbearingly condescending at the finale (which I won't spoil here). The film that went before doesn't earn that pay off and its impact isn't felt on the screen. Which makes the end deeply unsatisfying.
Shame really as with more editing and less egos involved, this could have been so much better.
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