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For a three and a half hour movie, The Irishman goes surprisingly fast. If it matters to you, I watched it in two parts (the first hour and then the last two and a half). Yeah, there were definitely some scenes of irrelevant dialog that really only work to establish relationships between De Niro and the other characters, but there weren't that many. Overall, the story was great, most of the acting was perfect, and it was very easy to get engrossed in the world of the movie and not really notice that it's over three hours long. I really only have three complaints. Firstly, as other have mentioned, even though they de-age the actors' faces, these are still elderly men and they walk and move like elderly men; they're too slow and clearly geriatric, but there isn't really anything you can do about that. The de-aging looked pretty good, but by my math, this mostly takes place in the 60's and 70's where De Niro's character is supposed to be in his 40's and 50's, but he still looks 60+ the entire movie. Sure, when he's in the nursing home he looks 80, but there is no way he's passing for forty during the Kennedy election. Really though, De Niro in general is my biggest issue with the film and the only thing that really drags the movie down. His character is supposed to have all these very complex emotions, but we only know that because the story makes it clear, never because of what De Niro is doing. He just makes that same stupid face the entire movie. If the idea was to have his character hiding his emotions, than congratulations because he doesn't show a single one. I've yet to see De Niro in a good role. When I watched Scarface, I though Al Pacino was pretty terrible, but he's great here and Joe Pesci is great in everything. The chemistry between any characters other than De Niro i amazing, but he actively ruins scenes for me. My only other issue is the same one I had in Goodfellas in that I feel like they are expecting me to know more about the material than I do. They do a great job laying out what is happening and how the many characters fit into the story, but way too often I'm seeing someone on screen who is clearly an important player, but I have no idea who the Hell they are. There are a lot of characters that kind of just breeze through every once in a while and if they aren't Ray Romano, I don't instantly remember who they are. Historically, it all clicks, but I was born in the 90's so I really don't have a lot of history with the JFK plot and they weren't really giving me what I needed to fully grasp what was happening; it wasn't enough to derail anything for me, but I'm still a little lost as to what all was going on in that section. Also, who is De Niro talking to? We see him in the nursing home telling this whole story to someone, but I have no idea who. I don't want to spoil anything, but there is a scene in the last 30 minutes that kind of brings the entire framing of the movie into question. Obviously, most of my issues are either nitpicky or personal preference. The Irishman is a solid ride that doesn't really feel like a three and a half hour movie (except for the last half hour where the story is pretty much over and we just circle the drain for too long). The obvious comparison is to Goodfellas and while I feel like I understood The Irishman's story better and I probably learned more here, Goodfellas is better on every other front. Goodfellas was way funnier, the story was more compelling, and I loved so many more of the characters (and there was less De Niro).
By : Greg Mueller | Date : 4 months ago