Photo from WBGO

The Irishman follows Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro) as he gets sucked into the world of crime. He becomes a hit-man who is stuck trying to keep peace between his two friends, Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino) and Russell Bufalino (Joe Pesci).

This is a 3 and a half hour movie, and I do think it was too long, however I don’t know what you could’ve cut from the film. Each scene helps build up to the ending, which makes you reflect not only on Frank’s life, but on how you want to be remembered. And the film is worth watching just to see these three actors work together, De Niro and Pesci have worked together along with De Niro and Pacino, but never have these three legends worked together.

Director Martin Scorsese tends to make long movies, this one just didn’t capture my attention as much as his previous ones like Silence or The Wolf of Wall Street. I was also watching this, as I’m sure a majority of people are, at home so that also detracted from my viewing experience since I did get distracted. I also don’t have the same connection to Scorsese’s older movies that have De Niro and Pesci in them as some others might.

If you weren’t already aware, The Irishman uses de-aging technology on its three main actors to follow them at different points of time in their life. And the de-aging technology was pretty spectacular. You can tell of course that the tech is there, but you end up kind of forgetting about it. The tech doesn’t make these 70+ year old actors look 30, but makes them look to be around 50 years old. Though it is hard to tell how old they are supposed to be at times and it’s most noticeable on De Niro since he is the once who has it the most.

The stand out performance to me was Al Pacino as Jimmy Hoffa. Out of the three, he was louder, funnier, and charismatic, while De Niro and Pesci were more quiet and straight-faced. He is the one who kept me invested in the movie.

I think the family aspect of the movie worked remarkably well, especially as you follow De Niro later in life. The movie shows how a life of crime can negatively impact your relationship to your family and how some thing just aren’t forgivable.

Overall, The Irishman is expertly crafted, but I found the story to be a bit dull. Pacino was the definite stand-out to me and the ending of the film is what sticks with you.

I give The Irishman or “I Heard You Paint Houses” a B.

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