So today I wandered out of my apartment to catch the 12:20 matinee of this flick. I picked up a bagel with scallion cream cheese, an Arizona green tea iced tea, and a bag of doritos. Pretty much everything was gone (CHOMP!) before the end of the previews (which included one film that looks like it wants to kick everyone's ass. It's called 300. I dig lots of arrows!!!!!!) Anyway, I was psyched up for this here Departed flick! It's been a long stretch since I've seen a truly excellent movie. And gosh darn I had high hopes this movie was gonna be dangblasted excellente! Swore it would be it did! Hoped with my heart! But... it just...it just... twernt.
For the first 15 minutes, this flick might as well be chanting, 'Mar-ty! Mar-ty! Mar-ty!' Rolly camera shots. Tough talk. N word bombs. Gimme Shelter. Gun blasts. I smelled what the Mart was cooking and I tucked my napkin right into my shirt. Knife and fork in each hand. Dumb grin on my face. Hungry! But not to far into it I ran I lost my appetite a little. I was assaulted by the stars. Jack Nicholas followed by Leo DiCabrio, Mark Damon, Matt Wahlberg, Alex Baldwang, Marvin Sheen. All very good. But it was actorclutter. One after another until the movie started to feel like someone behind the camera was a friggin star f'er. I didn't really have a problem with any of them. But it was just too many big star faces. It took soooo long to get the real-life person out of my head. They just couldn't break into character for me. At times it felt like an high-end Ocean's Eleven type thing. All the actors were there and they were gonna prove they were actual actorial actors acting actardly tough actin tinactin!
Anyway, the good news is this movie pretty much chugs along no problemo all flippy and fun. With the zoomy quickness and the 'Here's my gun for your stupid face!' and the, 'Hey! I'm gonna punch your face! Nuh!' and 'Uh oh!' And lots of cellphone flips like karate moves! There was lots of crackly crunchy good violence! Gun shot brain splats! Lots! Cool! Who's next?! You? Bang! Splat! And, even though there was alot going on,-- I could actually follow along without getting lost in the who's who! Which was one of the really great things about this movie. Although it was all over the road, I stayed tuned into who everyone was and what they wanted (even tho sometimes what they wanted was stupid or unnecessary.). And for a good 15 minutes at the peak of the movie (1:28 min?) I think ol' Marty was finally blasting on all cylinders for the first time in a long ass time.
The not so great news is this movie was not the movie I hoped it would be. Plotwise it was sort of messy and dopey. The criminals weren't great at crimes. The cops weren't great at copping. Some miscast chick sort of wandered in there and hung onto the edge of getting edited out of the movie altogether by her fingernails. And the big "deal" was based around <cough> microprocessors? For the chinese? Really? Half the time while watching it I was consciously aware of not loving it at all. I'm suspicious this is a whatevery overlong flick professionally smothered under an amazing facade. Yeah I did dig all the acting enough-- but Leo just isn't not-Leo enough to make his character real. But whatever! Too harsh! Maybe! Good enough! And fortunately this star f-er festival formula will guarantee Marty his long overdue Best Director Oscar-- it's just unfortunate that it feels like he had to stack the deck.
Three Good Things About this Movie
- I did enjoy watching everyone "act".
- Not getting lost in a convolutated character heavy plot is rare for me and I appreciated it.
- A bunch of gunshots shoved me back into my seat.
Three Bad Things About this Movie
- No character was genuinely 'smart' about what they were doing.
- What is Marty like obsessed with Gimme Shelter? There are other songs, no? And did it restart once midscene? WTF?
- The whole chick thing was like the high pitched noise that comes out of your old TV.
All in all, yadda yeah this is a way good fun movie that's worth seeing. Best movie since Goodfellas for him? Maybe, I guess. Ok. But this movie floored it right past any moments of delicious patience and genuine depth. I enjoyed the ride but as I walked out I was consciously aware of feeling flat. Not drained or pumped or wowed or pondery. There was nothing to think about really. Just an deep breath appreciation that Scorsese is still doing what he do and doing it up way good. Hopefully, the Oscar will do him the service of getting the dopey Hollywood glare out of his eyes...