At three and a half hours, I”m glad we watched this movie on Netflix at home and not at the movie theatre – I would have needed at least two bathroom breaks. Honestly, there’s no reason to see this flick on the big screen. There’s no special cinematography to gawk at, but if you’re into seeing blood spatter left by the guy who paints houses, then go for it.
Being a fan of gangster films, and hearing of the star-studded cast and special aging effects, I was a bit hyped and looked forward to seeing this movie. For me, it was a let-down. Granted, the cast and acting was top-notch but the plot steered us toward certain events in history and then left us hanging. Millennials and those unaware of politics and history will be totally lost.
The story centered on Frank Sheeran (Di Nero), a truck-driving war vet who works his way into and up the ranks of the Italian mob as a hit man. He’s eventually tasked with babysitting the second-most powerful man in the world, Jimmy Hoffa. Scorsese holds nothing back with Pacino’s portrayal of the arrogant and power-hungry Teamsters Union President.
The movie flounders while trying to tie in the rivalry between Hoffa and Attorney General Robert Kennedy, the Cuba invasion and missile crises, and assassination of JFK. There’s also mention of Nixon and Watergate but none of the underlying connections are revealed in any detail.
Even though I know most of the political history behind this movie, it left me trying to remember the accuracy of the actual events. Sheehan is the narrator of story and admits to being the man who killed Hoffa. As in real life, he wasn’t tasked with cleanup or disposal of the body so we’re left wondering about his final resting place. The film left no doubts as to why Hoffa was killed and how he signed his own death warrant.
To me, by the end of the movie, I felt like I just watched a historical documentary. It felt as cold Sheeran’s assassinations, where his simply walked up to his victims and shot them in the face. The stars and acting carried the movie, but I can’t give it any more than a 6 out of 10. Cathryn gave it a 7. Frankly, we both expected more for the half-billion dollars they spent making it.