One of the things that annoys me when people talk about The Irishman, its length. So, damn what that the film is three-and-a-half hours long? I remember when Marvel movies were coming in under two hours, people kept asking them to be longer. Yet, when the three-hour Avengers: Endgame was released, people were crying about the length. Not to mention, it’s on Netflix. People are complaining about a 3-plus hour movie when they binge ten episodes of a Stranger Things season in one sitting. In any case, it was a smooth three-plus hour movie. It could’ve been longer for all I cared.
Martin Scorsese returns to a genre that his fans are all too familiar with. The film recounts the life of a hit-man, who was friends with Jimmy Hoffa. Like his previous films, we follow Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro) as he recounts his life as his is coming to an end. Steven Zaillian does an amazing job with the script to allow the film to flow freely, but have a tight structure at the same time.
One of the biggest thrills was seeing Al Pacino (Jimmy Hoffa) in a film with De Niro and Joe Pesci (Russell Bufalino). One of the biggest thrills was seeing Pesci play the smooth mob boss, and not the typical hot head that we are used to seeing. The film is plum full of cameos of actors, who were just excited to appear in a Scorsese mob film. It must have been a good script to even bring Pesci out of retirement to do the film.
Everything was great about this movie, except the de-aging CGI on De Niro. In many of those flashback scenes, it almost seemed like I was watching a cut scene from a Call of Duty game than a movie. It is amazing on how bad some are and how amazing some can be. When Marvel uses it for their films, the actors look like they did back in the day, but in this one – it was just bad.
It isn’t a surprise that The Irishman would end up on the Best Picture list. In fact, there would have been a huge snub if it didn’t. I won’t get into snubs because there are some films on this list that have no reason to be on here. But I will get to those later.
However, times have changed and The Irishman didn’t deviate too much from the standard narrative that Martin helped cultivate. Had the film been released a few years after Casino, it would have won the Oscar in a heartbeat. Unfortunately for everyone involved, it won’t. That doesn’t make the movie any less appealing. Now, if the run time I still bothering you: there is a pause button. You can stop the movie any time and come back to it. Just think about that when you binge another season of your favorite streaming show in one sitting. All ten hours when you’re complaining about three-plus hours.
Rating: 4 stars