Review: The Irishman

I heard you paint houses.

Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro) is a former union worker who becomes a hitman for Russell Bufalino. (Joe Pesci) He also forms a friendship with Teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino) and reluctantly has a hand in his death.

I was only familiar with Jimmy Hoffa's name before watching this. I didn't know anything about the Teamsters and since I knew I was going to be sitting through nearly four hours of this film, I didn't bother researching because I assumed Scorcese would tell me everything I needed to know. And he did, this film is very thorough. 

De Niro, Pesci and Pacino are very good. Pesci was probably my favorite, all three give wonderful performances and I imagine we'll be seeing all of them throughout Oscar season. As someone who watched The Godfather Parts I and II about 10 times this year, seeing Pacino screaming at people was a nice call back to that. The film is also littered with great actors, mostly from Boardwalk Empire and it was nice to see them pop up here and there. Even though it often left me wishing we'd see more of them. This is clearly the trio's movie. No one else comes close to mattering as much as they do.

I liked the film overall. I think the time period was captured so well and I loved seeing who was going to cameo next. I felt I learned something from the story and I can see why Scorcese really wanted to make this film. I really only had two issues with it.

The biggest struggle for me in this film was the pacing, which I usually never take issue with in Scorcese's films. The first hour flies by then the middle of the film comes to a screeching halt. I understand why its so long, but I was never unaware that I was watching a 3 and a half hour movie. It doesn't start picking up again until the end and was just very inconsistent. I didn't hate any part of it, plenty of movies have little slumps, they just don't last an hour and a half.

Much has been made about the digital de-aging process and I don't think they were nearly as successful as those "theme park" movies Scorcese hates so much. No matter what age we're watching Frank, Russell, or Jimmy, they all still move like 70 year old men and their eyes are constantly watering, which draws a lot of attention to the fact that you're watching VFX. You get used to it, but I don't think it's as good as many people were saying.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "Why haven't you called Jo?" - Peggy Sheeran (Anna Paquin)


Comments

  1. I do want to see this but I am surprised you didn’t like it as much as so many others. You review is excellent and it will be interesting if I agree with your assessment. You know....I’m so sick and tired of the De-aging shit. Stop the Botox and the photoshopping and look your age. I look at Jane Fonda, Jacklyn Smith, Jane Seymour etc...and they look great but it s too deceiving when they are probably wearing wigs, dying hair, putting tons of make up on and, obviously, going under the knife. You look at Bette Davis and she looked her age. No wonder so many of us girls and women have issues about how we look

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    1. Thank you! It kind of surprised me too considering before this the only film of Scorcese's that I've seen that I probably wouldn't re-watch is Silence. I'm usually not lukewarm on him.

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  2. I downloaded the film last night as I hope to see it in a few days or in a week. I'm aware of the running time but Scorsese's made films that were just as long as I had no problem with that.

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    Replies
    1. His movies are always long, but this one isn't as good as some of the others I've seen.

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  3. I think they started the story too early. They could have just start with Sheeran and Hoffa meeting and throw in few flashbacks. That would also spare us a lot of this awful de-aging on De Niro

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    1. YES that's an excellent point. We definitely didn't need to see any of him in the War because there was no point. Telling instead of showing would've worked just fine.

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  4. I just can't with this movie. I want to say I'll give it a go but there's nothing in that trailer that makes me want to watch it.
    I'm tempted for the performances, and come awards season I might just try, but it's a nope from me for now.
    I'll stick with my theme park movies haha!

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    1. It's hard to want to watch a long movie when you're already lukewarm to it. I've forced myself through plenty of films in the name of Oscar for that lol. Nothing to be ashamed of.

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  5. Nice review here! I liked this one a bit more than you, but I do completely agree about the physical movements of the actors. I gave into the face VFX early on, but it's still pretty noticeable that these guys are built, and move like, old men.

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    1. It's something that never occurred to me would be an issue until I saw it happening. I never thought of Samuel L Jackson's or Robert Downey Jr's movements at all when they were in the same boat. It was just seamless. This was so hard to ignore.

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