2005-09-19

Carlito's Way


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I'm in the process of going back and viewing older gangster flicks (70's and 80's) that came out before I got into gangster flicks.

Tonight - Carlito's Way. What a disappointment!

Between the first two Godfather's and Scarface, Pacino has set the bar pretty high. This one wasn't even close. Although even a banner performance by Pacino might not have saved this thing. The plot is thin. The "wise, old gangster trying to go 'legit,' and the dame that the wise, old gangster just can't get out of his system are the very tired, main story lines, here. The whole thing lacks Puzo's rich, interwoven sub-plots.

Unfortunately, Pacino doesn't do an already weak script any favors. His was the most awful accent since Nicholas Cage in ConAIr. What's worse, they went with the main character narration throughout the picture. The biggest problem was the absence of Pacino's insane intensity. Mellow good guy, (pr perhaps good bad guy) is not his thing.

The supporting cast, ironically enough, made Carlito's Way bearable. Sean Penn as Carlito's lawyer Kleinfeld, John Leguizamo as upstart gangster Benny Blanco, and Penelope Ann Miller as his love interest all turned in colorful performance that gave the movie some flavor. I'll say one thing for Penn in particular - the guy is a screwball in real life, but I can't recall him ever laying an egg on screen.

So, some worthwhile secondary performances add some value, but overall I'll probably have to watch Godfather II this week just to wash the taste of Carlito's Way out of my mouth.

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