Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Written by: Steven Zaillian
Starring: Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Harvey Keitel, Ray Romano, Anna Paquin
Reviewed by: Brad Williamson
I have no problem with long movies or slow movies. Boring movies with no good story to tell, however, are nothing more than a waste of time. And while I don’t quite consider this film a waste, it wasn’t far from it.
The acting was fine and believable, but unspectacular. The best performance was the unassuming Ray Romano, the mafia’s ethically-deprived lawyer. De Niro, Pacino, Pesci, Paquin, and everyone else were all fine, but nothing I’ll remember two or three weeks down the road.
The characters were unlikable, shallow, dead-end, and stagnant. They didn’t grow or evolve. I heard so much about the realism and aging techniques employed while filming and planning this movie, but they should have focused more on their personalities, motivations, growth, and depth more than the hyper technical details. Throughout the movie I neither liked anyone (except Ray’s character) nor disliked anyone (except, again, Ray’s character). I didn’t care who died or didn’t, who fell or who conquered, or who was manipulating who.
Due to the absolute lack of interesting characters, the story, while adequate, fails to inspire any connection or empathy whatsoever. There’s very little action, and when it comes it’s not exciting. There aren’t any shocking surprises or betrayals, and the scale is less than epic. The hours roll by but the emotions falter, failing to develop.
There’s nothing wrong with this movie, but there’s nothing right with it either. It was boring, anti-climactic, unnecessarily long, bland, and superfluous. I do not recommend it unless you need a long nap.