The General (1998)
7/10
No frills, just good story telling.
19 March 2001
Boorman if nothing else is a good story teller. As a director, his greatest triumph came early in his career with Deliverance. Yet as a writer, he has brought us quality films such as Excalibur, and Hope & Glory. His adaptation of the Paul Williams novel is straight forward and without frills. Martin Cahill had many aspects to his life that could have easily become the fodder for an over zealous director. Rather than seeking to build a "background" story out of his love triangle, Boorman handles it with style and two scenes. The movie is meant to tell you about the rise and fall of Martin Cahill with a watchful eye to the social and political forces in Ireland. Boorman does just that. The scenes are well thought out and the acting solid. While this movie never hit the critical radar in America, it was praised both in Britain and at Cannes. When your in the mood for a story of a gangster who became a populist hero, take a look at this film. But if you want swift action scenes and graphic violence, it may be time for another viewing of Bonnie and Clyde.
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