The Irishman (2019) Review


Frank Sheeran is recalling his past as a mob hitman and how he could be involved in the slaying of Jimmy Hoffa. Learning to kill while serving in Italy during the Second World War. His connections with the Bufalino family in particular Russell would shape his life.


Frank used to just drive trucks which delivered meat and he never had any issues or problems. When his circle begins to change and grow, he is well in with the mob. Starting out with a little bit of meat going missing but then he starts to paint houses. That certainly doesn’t mean he decided to become a decorator, that’s mob slang for hitman. Something that was not knew to Frank though having served in World War II. 

When Russell Bufalino takes a shine to Frank it would certainly set his life on a different path. Having his cousin Bill a lawyer help him out when he is sacked from the driving job. As the story is told during different parts of the action we are shown many crimes and introduced to a lot of different characters. Some a lot more important to the plot than others, but all show that to a crime family so many people are dispensable.

A film which has been talked about for a very long time now and the build up with Robert De Niro and Al Pacino sharing the screen again directed by Scorsese is something people are always going to want to see. Joe Pesci thrown in for good measure and the supporting cast more than holding their own with the acting heavyweights. Everything going on with the first part of the film I totally forget Pacino was even in it (not sure how that was possible) but I was fully engrossed in the character build up and story then bang Pacino on screen after about 50 minutes! 

This is De Niro’s film there’s no doubt about it, even if he must share with Pesci every now and then. I cannot begin to explain just how amazing it is to see him in this type of role again, we all know his filmography in the past 15-20 years leaves a lot to be desired leaving generations to think of him as the dad in Meet the Parents or even worse Bad Grandpa! Outstanding De Niro and the de-ageing works in the best possible manner for all involved. I don’t see it being an issue as for years we have made people older so why not a little bit younger? Joe Pesci came out of retirement to star in this one and I am very pleased that he did, what an amazing performance both deserve awards! Pacino is another who in recent years has made some odd choices but back on form and shares so many scenes with De Niro. Ray Romano was a good addition along with Bobby Cannavale. I was disappointed we didn’t get more Harvey Keitel though! 

The style of the film moves with the times were are shown through over a few different decades with a very fitting score. Some of the slow motion shots really can be described as beautiful. Considering I have only caught up with Goodfellas this year, The Irishman is perfect timing to go further into this gangster films. Scorsese knows how to work this genre and get the best out of his actors.

The only thing that let this film down a tiny little bit for me was the final 15 minutes considering the 3 hour 20 minute running time which really does fly over. The final stage or chapter slowed it down, if anything I felt that part could have been done in a more slick manner. Despite that though I still feel this is well worthy of the five stars I have given it. Fully engaging throughout the mammoth running time, Martin Scorsese once again confirming that he is the main man when it comes to mafia films. 

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