|Jack's back and he wants blood...|
This movie was INTENSE. About twenty people were shot, others violently mugged and many more verbally and physically assaulted. And this movie was directed by the same bloke who did Hugo!?
This 150-minute, epic styled thriller stars Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Leonardo Di Caprio and Matt Damon: quite the line-up. Their performances were great, which is especially important as they were playing characters very adverse to the kind of roles Hollywood usually dishes out for them. Even Jack “type-cast” Nicholson’s role felt like a breath of new air. Their voices and demeanor were captivating and felt very real.
I mentioned the director: his name is Martin Scorsese and I think his overall style was very well-executed: enough of the sinister to captivate, whilst still keeping at bay an over-use of dialogue to explain the plot – as is common nowadays with lazy filmmakers. Although the movie was complex in scope, I did feel that it was over-doing the macabre aspects of the film. As a result, the ‘shock’ that the audience was supposed to feel at the very final murder of the film was somewhat dissipated. In fact, I really didn’t feel that the ending was particularly satisfying; I could only help but think, What was the point being made by this movie? Only by watching films such as this does one realise how important it is for a film to convey some kind of clear, defined message: Scorsese was sending me very mixed messages.
Also, the plot was somewhat too complicated. It wasn’t that I had trouble following (as I said, Scorsese explained it well), rather that the film suffered at the hands of an entwining screenplay. The messages in the film were undermined because the film refused to ‘relax’. I think most of this issue comes from the fact that there is no one to sympathise with in the film: i.e. everyone is an antagonist. The audience is thereby not invited to engage in the film, but merely spectate, be horrified by the crimes being committed and events unfolding onscreen, but never empathised with.
The Bottom Line: Solid acting, solid direction, perhaps an unnecessarily complex script detailing overtly macabre themes, but generally a well-shot and thrillingly performed action film.