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As with most recent Scorsese films there is a genuinely good film in here desperately trying to escape out from underneath a self-indulgent tangle. For starters it’s far too long and drags considerably in some places. Someone also needs to remind Mr Scorsese that in a visual medium you should show rather than tell a story and to therefore cut down on the interminable and uninteresting drawn out dialogue which adds nothing.
There were plot lines and characters thrown in which were dealt with and discarded and never mentioned again which simply added to the length and confused the main story. The jumping about in time was jarring and distracting as were the bizarre little freeze frame title cards that came with the introduction of various minor characters who had no bearing on the plot.
And unfortunately the cast were simply not up to the majority of it. De Niro and Pesci often looked bored and tired while Pacino who did actually manage to add some life simply shouted his way through the whole film. And whoever thought the deaging process was a good idea should’ve been fired on the spot. First of all it didn’t work well and was very dodgy at times but more importantly you cannot use it to alter the way bodies move. De Niro’s movements always looked like an old man’s even when he was supposed to be portraying someone younger which made it look ridiculous especially during fight scenes. Age appropriate actors would’ve been far better.
This could’ve been an excellent film and there were seeds of it in there. The main storyline, when it wasn’t messed about with, was intriguing and De Niro and Pesci were very good when portraying the characters in their later years. Those aspects prevented this from being a one star review.
I cannot fathom why people enjoyed this so much and can only assume it’s because Scorsese’s previous reputation shields him. But Goodfellas essentially covers the same ground and does it far better. Watch that and give this one a miss.