When asked who I think is the greatest director of all time, directors like Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino, James Cameron, Ridley Scott, and Martin Scorsese come to mind. All of those directors are great in their own way, but Scorsese brings something special to his work. Films such as Goodfellas, Taxi Driver, Casino, The Wolf of Wall Street, and The Departed have shown that he is an extraordinary director. He crafts excellent stories that get audiences invested in the characters and what they’re doing. His films have a classy feel to them that no other director has been able to recreate. Because of this, I was incredibly excited to sit down and watch his latest film, The Irishman; however, i was greatly disappointed.
Some of the finest actors in Hollywood
The greatest part of The Irishman is the stellar cast. Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci are all Hollywood veterans, and it’s great to see them all on-screen together. Robert De Niro is fantastic as our main lead, Frank Sheeran, and helps us root for the character despite the criminal acts he commits. Al Pacino and Joe Pesci are also equally great as supporting characters, and they all work great together to help carry this movie. It’s just nice to see actors of this caliber on screen together. The de-aging done to these actors is so fantastic that I actually forgot they are much older than they were portrayed.
The movie feels like other Scorsese films, like Casino and Goodfellas. The cinematography makes you believe the movie was actually shot in the 1950s/1960s with its classic camera work. This doesn’t help the movie overall, but it was nice to see Scorsese try to recreate the feel of some of his earlier films.
An hour and thirty minutes too long
The biggest killer to this movie is it’s enormously long run time. Clocking in at three hours and thirty minutes, the movie drags on without any purpose. There were countless scenes in the movie where I felt they could have trimmed up a bit, or just completely eliminated altogether. There was a point in the movie when I felt the movie was almost over, only to check the runtime and see that it still had about two hours left. Scorsese isn’t new to making long movies; one of his recent movies, The Wolf of Wall Street, had a three-hour runtime, but what differs in The Irishman from a movie like Wolf was the fun and energetic feel.
The movie also suffers from having too many boring dialogue-only scenes. A dialogue-heavy movie can work, but after three hours and thirty minutes of people just sitting around talking, it gets old really fast. For example, in The Wolf of Wall Street, he placed fun, fast, and exciting scenes throughout the movie to help break up the more dialogue-heavy ones. The dialogue-heavy scenes also had excitement in them to keep you invested in the story. This movie is missing that fast-paced excitement that fill Scorsese’s other films. There were also countless scenes where it felt like whatever the characters were talking about had no effect on the overall story.
A dull and dry story
A movie told out of order, or in a series of flashbacks, can work. Tarantino proved this right with Pulp Fiction, which was told completely out of order. However, this didn’t work in The Irishman. In the beginning, there were a few times when the movie jumped back and forth and it felt a little jarring. You get used to it after a while, but it took a while to understand where the movie was taking place.
As mentioned before, there’s a lack of excitement and enthusiasm in the movie. I struggled to stay invested with the story and the movie overall. Too many times during the movie I was tempted to fast-forward during its more dull scenes. This is greatly disappointing when you have such a high-caliber director working with some of the greatest actors working in Hollywood.
Featured Image: IMDb
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