The Irishman (2019) – Review

Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro) is man coming to the end of his life, reflecting on the moments that defined his mob career, in particularly getting involved with Russell Bufalino (Joe Pesci) and consequently Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino) – a powerful man tied closely with organised crime, who vanished mysterious in late July, 1975. A sensational, well-made movie, that is currently streaming on Netflix.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Writers:  Steven Zaillian, Charles Brandt
Starring: Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci

The story and plot itself is one than many have heard and witnessed beforehand – the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa. Frank rose quickly among the ranks of crime within the city and his bosses, thus gaining trust from those around him. It wasn’t a movie full of action – that many have bemoaned – in fact, one or two of the more physical scenes were a little awkward and clumsy at best. An example being when Frank clashed with a shopkeeper, who was consequently flung into his own glass door and then onto the pavement outside.

One of the more exciting aspects of the movie was the acting. It was superb from the off and didn’t drop in standard at all. Robert De Niro did a splendid job and never really dipped in terms of consistency, while Joe Pesci added what he needed to add when called upon and became a thoroughly likable but equally as cutthroat character – probably the one person that could have commanded more screen time, if any. Elsewhere, let’s not forget Al Pacino. He rolled back the years too, looking great and giving the character of Jimmy Hoffa exactly what was required.

A rather surprising factor, however, was the fact that so many notable actors and actresses were cast in this too, popping up when least expected. Harvey Keitel played Angelo Bruno, Ray Romano played Bill Bufalino, Kathrine Narducci played Carrie Bufalino, Stephen Graham played Anthony Provenzano and Jesse Plemons played Chuckie O’Brien. All of whom did a great job. There was even an appearance from Action Bronson as a casket salesman later in the flick!

The movie itself, as many have documented, was over three hours in length. Three hours and thirty minutes to be exact. With that being said, the movie and plot easily justified the runtime, and it could be argued that the complexity and depth of the story could have been spread over an entire series if required, never mind a single movie. With that being said, the final thirty or so minutes did become a little slower in nature, but at no point in time could it have been considered boring.

It definitely wasn’t flawless, and I probably wouldn’t call it the movie of the year, but for an old, classic gangster story that starred some of the all-time greats, it’s quite comfortably one of the best out there now and worthy of anyone’s time.

“I heard you paint houses…”

Jimmy Hoffa – The Irishman

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