The Man and I went to see The Departed tonight.
Uh. . . yeah.
I know that I was supposed to like that movie, because it’s by Martin Scorsese, and anything he does is a gold bar wrapped around a brick of money, but. BUT. I just couldn’t take it.
First of all, I love me some gangster movies. You can hardly go wrong with me and a gangster movie. Prohibition-era, 50s, current day. I don’t care. If there’s a movie about gangsters (not to be confused with gangstas), I’m all about that. So, The Departed had that going for it right away. Second, it’s got Nicholson in it, who I always forget that I like until I see him in another movie. For an added bonus, Matt Damon, who always manages to bring a twinkle to his character when it’s called for. And, for an extra-special-mega bonus: Martin Sheen.
The first part of the movie was terrific. Snappy dialogue, great pacing, good setup, interesting characters. A somewhat cliche premise, I guess, but hey. It’s a gangster movie! But around about the end-of-the-middle (does that make sense?) the pacing slows down to a crippled snail’s crawl and the details start getting left out, which makes for some pretty hard to take stuff later on. I don’t want to get all into it, because I don’t want to put spoilers on here for those of you who haven’t seen it, but The Man and I left the theatre asking ourselves WHY? did this happen, and HOW COME? no one saw this coming, and WHAT’S THE DEAL? with this thing that was left hanging out there, and so on and so forth.
And the ending. Oy vey. Come on. There was no better way to end that movie? Really? After so long coming, that was a hell of a bad payoff. I guess if I were someone who could watch a movie with one part of my brain, and analyze with the other, I would have caught the (in retrospect) heavy-handed foreshadowing and braced myself for it.
Anyway, there’s really no good reason to see this movie in the theatre, as far as I’m concerned. I can’t see any of the experience being lost when viewed on the small screen, and you’ll have the added bonus of being able to pause and take a smoke break when you just can’t stand the slowness of the latter half. I had to settle for whipping out my cell phone every half-hour, trying to gauge how much time was left. That’s always a good sign, right?
(As a funny footnote, my spell checker wanted me to replace “foreshadowing” with “presidential”. What the hell?)