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Boston, 1926. The '20s are roaring. Liquor is flowing, bullets are flying, and one man sets out to make his mark on the world. Prohibition has given rise to an endless network of underground distilleries, speakeasies, gangsters, and corrupt cops. Joe Coughlin, the youngest son of a prominent Boston police captain, has long since turned his back on his strict and proper upbringing. Now having graduated from a childhood of petty theft to a career in the pay of the city's most fearsome mobsters, Joe enjoys the spoils, thrills, and notoriety of being an outlaw. But life on the dark side carries a heavy price. In a time when ruthless men of ambition, armed with cash, illegal booze, and guns, battle for control, no one-neither family nor friend, enemy nor lover-can be trusted. Beyond money and power, even the threat of prison, one fate seems most likely for men like Joe: an early death. But until that day, he and his friends are determined to live life to the hilt. Joe embarks on a dizzying... Written by
After World War I, Joe Coughlin doesn't know what to believe in having witnessed so much death and destruction. He returns to America as an outlaw and begins working for the mob and mafia, burgling, and getting a little too intimate with the boss's wife.
Ben Affleck really wanted this to be the Godfather, and be both Coppola and Pacino. It's way off the mark. Firstly, Joe is a bad guy with very little decency, so there's absolutely no reason to root for him. Secondly, Affleck's acting is all over the place in tone - is he badass, caught in the storm, or a nice guy at heart? Apparently all three at various points. Yet his performance is still much better than the supporting cast who never really have any conviction.
The art department did a good job though - the costumes, scenery, backdrops and cars all looked fairly authentic. Shame the actors just felt like they were playing fancy dress and not actually from the time period. The main problem is the story though; it seems to go on forever with various twists and turns, but never did it engage my interest. It didn't annoy me, but it certainly didn't entertain me either.
A modern gangster thriller, but without the thrills. Solid mis-en-scene, but lacks depth and quality acting and writing.
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