Martin Scorsese has had a long career of fantastic crime dramas from Goodfellas, to Casino, to The Departed, to many more.
As such, coming into The Irishman, I felt like I was going to see another riveting film on par with many of his prior movies.
Honestly, though, this expectation may have been a bit naive.
That is not to say that The Irishman is bad because it is certainly a good film, but there was nothing about it that made it feel like I was seeing something new.
The most impressive thing about the film is its fantastic de-aging effects, which allows the characters played by Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci to age across the decades that the film depicts.
The only problem I had with the effects was that sometimes the actors’ eyes looked a little off but, Aside from this, it was flawless.
The Irishman follows the crime fueled life of Frank Sheeran (De Niro), a man who “paints houses”, a euphemism for murder in the criminal underworld.
Under orders from his friend Russel Bufalino (Pesci), Frank eventually comes to know and befriend the leader of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Jimmy Hoffa (Pacino).
The film then follows these three characters through Frank’s experiences in the criminal underworld and the fatal effects these experiences have.
For starters, the three actors all do a really good job with their characters, especially De Niro and Pacino because I could really feel the bond that their characters had.
The friendship between Sheeran and Hoffa, and what it ultimately culminates in, is the most interesting part of the movie for me; even if the outcome may not be true to life because no one really knows how these events really unfolded.
Another impressive thing about The Irishman is how it goes about portraying Sheeran’s supposed murders, with them often being quick and realistic, lacking an over dramatic feel, although this works in the film’s favor.
However, despite these good things, I still cannot say The Irishman is anything spectacular.
For one thing, the film is way too long, coming in at 209 minutes.
The over three hour runtime was not exactly warranted and I felt quite a few scenes could have been condescend or cut.
Also, as I said, The Irishman does not really add anything all that new to the crime drama genre.
I felt like I was watching just a typical crime film rather than one directed by Scorsese.
Still, the film is enjoyable and I would recommend it based off the great performances and amazing de-aging effects.
If you don’t mind the over three hour runtime then you should give it a watch.