Thursday, March 01, 2007

New Movie Review: "The Departed"

Newly minted Best Picture winner The Departed made its way into my hands and I eagerly viewed it. Based on the Chinese film Infernal Affairs this ensemble piece is directed by Martin Scorsese (who finally won Best Director) and stars Leo DiCaprio and Matt Damon. It's a typical cops vs robbers film, just with the Scorsese twist.

What's the Scorsese twist? Gritty realism. Nothing in this movie was too outlandish, as far as gangster movies go. No big chase scenes, no exploding buildings. It is more about the moles in the mob and in the police force. You might actually think this sorts of stuff go on in the real world, but maybe not so much with this amount of beautiful people. Mark Wahlberg, who was nominated for Best Supporting Actor, is probably the weakest link in the movie, as he plays a foul-mouthed detective. Other than that, all the roles are strong, if not a bit subdued. Even Jack Nicholson doesn't chew up as much as the scenery as he usually does.

Basically, this movie was an Oscar movie parading as an action movie. I maintain that Scorcese as decline a bit over the years, and while this movie indicates an upswing, it still doesn't rival what Taxi Driver or Raging Bull were liek in their day. Those were the movies that deserved to win. However, I can live with The Departed winning awards and getting praise because it is not the typical shoot 'em up movie. It is more thoughtful than it has right to be and that's good. Everybody said there is a big twist at the end, but I didn't view the ending as twist, more like a typical Scorsese ending. I enjoyed the film. I would recommend picking up this movie if you want to say you saw an Oscar movie this year.

3 1/2 Boston Accents out of 5.


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