I love all the films of this genre-- Casino, Once Upon a Time in America, Goodfellas, Godfather, Mean Streets, Scarface, The Departed, Carlito's Way, Taxi Driver, etc. Scorsese makes some awesome epics, and I like a wide variety of other directors and their films in this vein. However, I find the hype and the hooplah around this one to fall a bit flat. I am sure I will receive some hate for this opinion, but this movie is nowhere near the level of Goodfellas or Scarface.
1) The Run Time= I am fine with a 3.5 hour movie, but it needs to be great enough to fill that amount of time. I mean, at least 60-75% of it should be amazing. This movie is WAY TOO LONG for no reason. I can think of about 5 scenes that could be cut or condensed that did nothing to further the plot.
2) The Aging and De-Aging of Actors= This was actually very distracting from the movie, and made me laugh in several scenes. Was this really NECESSARY? It seemed cheap and corny, and it really takes away from the movie instead of helping it. Wouldn't it be better to just get younger actors to play the really young scenes of DeNiro, Pesci, Pacino, etc??? No one is buying the age of these guys, even with CGI technology and effects. It ruined the belief of the moment.
3) Pesci looked 139 years old throughout the movie, even in scenes where he is supposed to be young.
4) Harvey Keitel's talent and presence was greatly wasted, as I barely remember anything that he did or said.
5) The Women= the ladies are mentioned at the start of the film by name, and then become completely irrelevant to anything that goes on for 3 hours. They were extremely underdeveloped. This was one thing that complimented Goodfellas well- Ray Liotta's wife was always in the mix, or screwing something up, or threatening to kill him, etc.
6) Lack of Suspense or Action= This movie became very run-of-the-mill boring after an hour or so. Nothing surprised me, nothing was exciting, and the action is so neutered and far between that I forgot I was watching a gangster flick. I can still remember Pesci stabbing a guy in the throat with a pen in Casino, or Scarface's last stand, or the beatings given out in Goodfellas. This movie barely had ANY MEMORABLE SCENES that stand out. The only great ones were a couple of really quick and realistic shootings of guys on the street or in an eatery by DeNiro.
7) Pacino as Hoffa= He doesn't even resemble Hoffa at all, and neither do other people portraying certain characters. Robert Kennedy comes to mind as well.
This is a decent movie, with great production values, classic actors, a legendary director, and nostalgic music with a great soundtrack. However, I just think a 8 or 9 rating is BS for this project. EVERYONE IS SIMPLY SAYING WHAT THEY ARE TOLD TO SAY, just like every other overhyped movie or author or artist. It is a good movie, but far from a masterpiece, or Scorsese's crowning achievement, despite what everyone says.
Scarface, Goodfellas, Godfather, Departed= all light years beyond this movie, and with a shorter run time. This film needed to be tightened up and given some better scenes. It is interesting, but overbloated and overhyped due to the cast and director-- which can do no wrong in the minds of the average critic or average joe.
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