Sunday, October 08, 2006
Film Review: The Departed
The Departed (18)
Dir. Martin Scorsese
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
”When I was your age, they would say you could become cops or criminals. What I'm saying is this: When you're facing a loaded gun, what's the difference?”
Welcome to the mean streets of Boston, a city ruled by terror where even the police are struggling to make any sort of dent in the all pervasive operation of psychotic mob boss Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson). Costello has risen to his lofty position through effectively brutal violence as he quips at one point “a lot of people had to die so I could be me” and he’s not wrong. In a desperate attempt to bring him down the police send an undercover agent into Costello’s operation – this dangerous and dubious honour falls to rookie cop Billy Costigan (an on form Leonardo DiCaprio). Unfortunately for them Costello has an inside man of his own, Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) working inside the Police, leaking their plans and ensuring that the mob stay one step ahead of the authorities. And so it is that a delicious game of cat and mouse escalates – the stakes are the lives of not only the undercover agents but also most of their colleagues on both sides of the law.
The Departed is a classy US remake of an amazingly tense Hong Kong crime thriller called Infernal Affairs and while it transplants whole scenes from the original into the American setting it also mixes up the plot just enough to make the films excellent companion pieces to each other. Director Scorsese delivers a brilliantly blood soaked, compulsively nerve shredding film, aided in no small part by fantastic performances from an impressive cast. This is very much Nicholson’s film and he really should bag an Oscar nomination for this twisted tour de force here but DiCaprio and Damon put in sterling work too, backed up by Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen and Ray Winston.
The Departed is a balls-to-the-wall confident and clever thriller, engaging and disturbing in equal measures and a benchmark by which all US cop thrillers will be judged against for some time to come. Yes Scorsese like to overcook his borrowed plotlines and veers into unnecessary extravagance at points but providing you’ve got the stomach for some scenes of unflinchingly grim violence, The Departed is a film that deserves your attention and is likely to stay with you long after the gunfire has subsided.
Darkmatters rating system (out of 5):
Action öööö - crunching and bloody when necessary
Laughs öö – darkly funny at points
Horror ööö – gets pretty grim and leaks lots of blood
Babes ööö – Vera Farmiga - odd face, hot body!
Overall öööö ( a quality remake but the original edges it for me)
"bloody Leonardo DiCaprio- actually pretty good in The Departed"
"Vera Farmiga - making some good movie choices recently!*"
*See Running Scared where she gets eaten out Paul Walker...
My review here: http://darkmatt.blogspot.com/2006/01/film-review-running-scared.html
Darkmatters: H O M E
Posted by Matt Adcock at 8:58 pm