Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Irishman’: Kane Takes On The New Gangster Flick

They say third time’s a charm and while I have no scientific evidence to back this up, I do have the proof that it took me three attempts to get through The Irishman. That’s not to say it’s bad by any means, the film is pretty damn engaging the whole way through. It’s just a 3.5-hour commitment and I can hardly stay focused for 3.5 minutes these days (thank you internet). That being said, this is also the third time that Tony Montana and Vito Corleone have actually shared screen time and it finally paid off…The 5-minute diner scene that Michael Mann gave us in Heat was underwhelming and The Righteous Kill is something I’d rather not sit through again.

Martin Scorsese directing Al Pacino and Robert De Niro together is a dream come true; throw some Joe Pesci in the mix and you have the fixin’ for a gangster flick that cannot fail. And fail it did not.  

Watching Bobby De Niro play Frank Sheeran was quite interesting due to the fact he portrays him from his mid 30’s all the way to his old ass homecare age. I guess the 180-million-dollar price tag for this movie goes to CGI makeup effects because it was a pretty decent job of spanning the ages with one actor. I’ve got mad love for De Niro but there were a few points in the film where he came across as a bit cheesy. But it worked so well with the tone of the film. I just wanna know why he looked like he was about to cry in every scene.

Al Pacino fucking rocks as Jimmy Hoffa. Growing up, my grandfather told me about Hoffa and how he “disappeared.” Being 7 years old at the time I didn’t know what or who the hell he was rambling about. As an adult and researching a touch of the history of this man and then watching Al Pacino slay that role, it was really cool to see. I cannot give much insight into the validity of this portrayal being as how far removed I am, and never actually see any real footage of Hoffa in real life, but I love seeing Al Pacino…”Pacino” the fuck out.  

I always love it when I see Harry from Home Alone in a role that strays far from what I grew up with. Joe Pesci is known for his over the top, sometimes aggressive roles. I have never seen him act so calm, cool and collected as he did in The Irishman. Pesci plays Russell Bufalino who is arguably the most gangster motherfucker in the whole movie and I’m so glad he came out of retirement for this role. You don’t get to see him lose his shit at any point and it was OK to see him come in as completely the opposite of what I expected.

It was a real treat to see Pacino, De Niro, and Pesci all in the same flick, and to get it directed by Scorsese was just so wonderful, but I’d have to say my biggest surprise was watching Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno. It wasn’t until he spoke when I wasn’t looking at the screen before I realized it was “Herc” from The Wire. The makeup job was fantastic on this dude.  

Ray Romano was great as the smarmy lawyer Bill Bufalino, who is responsible for bringing Sheeran into the profession of “Painting Houses”. I don’t give a shit what anybody says, Ray Romano is great…there is a reason everybody loves him…

I’ve been waiting for this movie to materialize for a while now and to finally see it was almost as exciting as seeing dinosaurs on screen for the first time. In all seriousness though, The Irishman was a fantastic addition to Martin Scorsese’s already untouchable catalog. The characters were fascinating, the story had great pacing, and the jokes were laugh out loud hilarious…my favorite was the “You People” scenes. Being from Canada and the recent Don Cherry fiasco, I almost died. The violence was top notch and I loved the (at times) satirical way the whole Hoffa incident was portrayed.

The two gripes I had with this movie are how closely I had to listen, and how loud it had to be because I don’t understand senile so well. The geriatric Goodfellas spoke it fluently. My second issue is there wasn’t enough Harvey Keitel. The movie is solid as heck and definitely worth your time if you’re into Scorsese gangster flicks. 

Rated Kane: 10/10