Monday, October 23, 2006

"The Departed"

Finally saw "The Departed" this weekend, and while it was eminently watchable, and certainly worth my $9.25 (!), it didn't quite match the hype. I'm underwhelmed in large part because there was nothing new here. It's a nice genre piece, but I've seen it all before (though I actually haven't seen "Infernal Affairs" the Hong Kong film which this is a remake of).

I suppose as a whole, "The Departed" is a superior film to "Gangs of New York," but "Gangs" was more interesting because of my unfamiliarity with the milieu. Performance-wise, Damon, Di Caprio, Baldwin and especially Wahlberg were great, and I don't think Nicholson was as "big" as everyone has been saying (there was one Lecterish moment, but that was largely it for the indulgent scenery-chewing.)

I endorse wholeheartedly the criticism of the inanity of the film's final shot. The phrase "on the nose" comes to mind.

Perhaps I'd be more positive if the tautest portion of the film hadn't been spolied by the fact that not one but several idiots brought their toddlers to a Marty Freakin Scorecese movie. Are you high? So the rightly lauded scene consisting of Damon and Di Caprio silently listening to each other being silent over a phone connection was broken up with ga-ga-ing, and perhaps a goo-goo or two. Spolis the tension somewhat...Plus one of the kids couldn't sit still, and was wearing those shoes with the lights in the heels, so it looked like there were cop cars actually sitting in the front of the theatre with the lights on.

Anyway, if you can stand violence and profanity, see it. Thoroughly professional, though not quite transcendant. B+

1 comment:

cakreiz said...

Why is it that the last vestige of great American film (or tv, for that matter) is the Mob genre? I don't understand it. I had hopes for Star Wars but the last 3 were unwatchable. Westerns? Musicals? War movies? All pretty much shot. So we're left with the Old Reliable: thick NY accents, mob hits, De Niro and Sharon Stone on crack. It's a puzzle.