Jack Forman – Mustangs Ahead
(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL)- “The Departed” (2006), an academy award winning Best Picture, is an odd parallel in movie history that features amazing actors who are some of the biggest stars in the business, while presenting an amazing concept for a Hollywood story that features the less-publicized Irish mafia.
But it was a movie released too late. From the 1970s to the ‘90s, the Mafia movie craze was at an all-time high with amazing classics like “The Godfather” and “A Bronx Tale” topping the box office sales. It seemed America couldn’t get enough. Then it began a drop off in the late 90’s.
With “The Departed,” director Martin Scorsese tried to add a twist to the legendary genre and create something of a classic. The lineup of actors in this film stretches far with leads such as Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Leonardo Dicaprio, and Mark Wahlberg.
Even with that, it still fell flat from what most would expect. The movie is based in Boston with the little talked about Irish mafia. This concept of a mob movie was never taken to the gritty streets of Irish immigrants taking advantage of the public, so it was an interesting idea to say the least.
Nicholson’s character was a mob boss that gets into cahoots with the inner police force which allows him to take advantage of the town, while Damon’s character plays the law enforcement mole in the situation keeping relations with the Irish mafia. This was the basis for the story that sets up for DiCaprio’s character as he will be the loser who works his way into heroism by exposing his enemies.
The dynamics between these characters just isn’t convincing. It felt like Scorsese tried to put a new take on the mafia film genre while simultaneously going back to what worked in the 70s, which made this movie feel very bipolar.
Writing a movie with this many main characters and high-level actors is anything but easy and is usually done only in big blockbuster superhero movies. This factor alone gave the movie a ton of up and down turbulence.
Wahlberg was criminally underused, which is already a negative in the film. The movie didn’t do a good job in setting up a climax for the big finish. At the dramatic conclusion, I didn’t feel satisfied with the turn out.
This movie had issues in direction and it felt cluttered with scenes that took away from personal character development. Nicholson’s character didn’t seem very scary and dominant compared to the likes of Marlon Brando’s Vito Corleone in “The Godfather.” I always felt as if he was never truly in control which made his character feel less wanted.
A cluttered mess of characters and the absence of direction is what made this film so forgettable. It was supposed to live up to the more famous counterparts and fell short due to the poorly developed, shallow characters and a forgettable story.