Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Departed

I can not quite believe how much I loved this movie. While not as good as the Hong Kong original (Infernal Affairs) this film delivers the goods.

I haven't see all of his films from the past sixteen years (Kundun and The Age of Innocence) but this is easily my favorite since GoodFellas. I don't count any documentaries or whatnot, just his straight up movies. Both The Aviator and Gangs of New York had their moments but weren't great from beginning to end. Bringing Out the Dead was a piece of crap. Casino aggravated me to no end. So I didn't have the highest expectations for this one. But I was wrong. Very wrong. This is one of my favorite films of the year. Maybe I'm just a sucker for cat and mouse, cop and mole type movies. Who knows?

You know a movie is good when Leonardo DiCaprio isn't terribly annoying. You know a movie is good when things surprise you even though you've seen the original on which it is based. This film took the fun and intrigue of the original and Americanized it without losing too much of its original appeal. Even Jack Nicholson was good. It seems that he has been variations of The Joker in public and in movies for years now. It was a hell of a lot of fun to actually see him act like something other than Jack Nicholson.

In lesser hands, this film might have sucked. But Scorsese is a fucking master. No more big ambitious projects for Marty with this one. It is like he's going back to his roots without pandering to his audience like he was with Casino. A light little film for Marty. But it was so much fun! And unlike some of his other films, the violence is not over the top. That doesn't mean the film isn't violent. The violence erupts with jarring suddenness but some of the most violent scenes are offscreen and merely alluded to.

I dug this movie from the very first frame until almost the very end. I've got to admit the last three seconds are pretty lame. Don't worry - this isn't a spoiler or anything. When you see it, you'll know what I'm talking about.

Finally, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention how killer Mark Wahlberg's haircut is in this movie.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Court St. Cinemas


crispin said...

i thought the aviator was underrated - i love the crazy - but gangs of new york was utter crap, just utter crap. from that first slow motion showdown at the beginning set to some sort of faux-irish post-portishead nonsense i knew i was in for a long haul. i would have walked out but i was watching it at home and no movie is going to kick me out of my own house.

mas said...

Dead-on review - this movie was a really pleasant surprise.

mactechwitch said...

Great movie, yes. And it was so long that it caused me to miss the first two innings of game 3. A blessing.
I'm ready to see it again. Especially the first 30 minutes with Wahlberg's taunting tirade.
People clapped at the ending in my theater (Kips Bay - which is huge and exactly like the Loew's in Boca Raton -disconcerting in NYC)
I need an epilogue. What happened to the baby and whom does he look like? The answer probably needs a DNA sample because, really, those two are the same somatotype. Then what about Dignam?

Listmaker said...


there are two sequels to infernal affairs so i'm guessing your questions are answered in them. i haven't seen either yet.