A former mob hitman (Robert DeNiro) tells about his time with the mob and his involvement with Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino)
Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci, Al Pacino, Harvey Keitel, Ray Romano, Anna Paquin
MPAA Rating: R or pervasive language and strong violence
Fun Fact: Martin Scorsese has stated when pitching the film to studios, no one was interested in a Scorsese and DeNiro picture. Netflix stepped in and gave the greenlight for the film with a $160 million dollar budget.
The Irishman is based off a book called I Heard You Paint Houses. It talks about what might have happened to former Teamster president Jimmy Hoffa. Hoffa disappeared in 1975 and was never seen again. Currently, Hoffa has this mythical essence to him as we never had closure on his life.
What is there to say about this film? It’s Scorsese and it has DeNiro, Pesci, and Pacino. So, let’s just say that it’s amazing. Scorsese just has this perfection when he’s behind the camera. He directs a smooth flowing epic that was needed. We never see epics anymore, and the genre is never in the topic of discussion. A film like The Irishman is needed every once and a while to spike up some interest.
First, I want to clear the elephant in the room, and that’s the length. The movie clocks in at three and a half hours. I’ve heard a lot of gripes about it being too long and such. To me it flowed quite nicely, and the scenes have so much investment that you won’t care about length. I had to hit pause for a moment and thought I had only watched a half hour, but I found out that I was over an hour in. Is it different than binge watching a show, or getting a ticket to see Avengers: Endgame multiple times?
The acting is what carries the film with the big three of DeNiro, Pesci, and Pacino. DeNiro and Pacino have accepted quite a bit of awful roles the last few years and it’s refreshing to see them work on this. DeNiro is one of my favorites and he carries this film like he has with so many Scorsese films. Pacino has made a career of more over the top roles, and just add this to his many great performances. He’s just right at taking the roles serious with a flair. My favorite performance goes to Joe Pesci, who is basically retired at this point, but came back to do this. His character is this cold blooded and calm guy who will take you out if you wrong him. Anna Paquin is in this as DeNiro’s character’s daughter, and here comes my only gripe with the film. Her character is supposed to have a falling out with DeNiro’s character, but Paquin isn’t in it that much so there really isn’t any payoff.
Like any other Scorsese picture, the production value is top notch. The camera work is smooth, and the editing is fantastic. The editing is so good that it isn’t choppy. The most effective scenes were when it was silent. Those scenes bring up the tension and suspense. The effective work behind the camera makes these scenes a must see. The last act really brings the tension up, and the final shot is something I will never forget. It leaves you with questions and it’s up to you to decided on what happens, something I love in film. Another thing that was done well was the CGI. They had to de-age DeNiro to show the time periods. At first, I noticed it, but after a few scenes it wasn’t something that was distracting.
Overall¸ I loved, loved, loved, The Irishman. The acting carries this and it’s refreshing to see the big three in DeNiro, Pesci, and Pacino. Pacino and DeNiro have picked some bad productions and it’s great to see them back on their A-game. Martin Scorsese does another terrific job behind the camera. He knows how to direct scenes to build up tension and suspense. While it is a long film, I recommend that you see it if you have a Netflix account, or just see it in general. We don’t get epics much and for something like this to come out, it’s a special treat.