Sunday, November 27, 2011

Carlito's Way (1993)

Synopsis: Reformed gangster finds more trouble than Gordon Ramsay inspecting a filthy kitchen.

Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “Sprung from prison on a legal technicality by his cocaine-addled attorney (Sean Penn), former drug kingpin Carlito Brigante (Al Pacino) stuns the local underworld when he vows to go straight.”

What Did I Learn?: If you deliver a savage beating to an up-and-coming gangster, you pretty much have to kill him afterwards.

You Might Like This Movie If: You want to see Al Pacino star as a crime boss who thinks he’s out of the biz until...they pull him back in. (But you don’t want to sit through Godfather III again.)

Really?:  1) Nobody knows that Carlito was on the boat, yet the mob tracks him down, anyway. Even if he hadn’t agreed to do the job with his lawyer buddy, wouldn’t the same thing have happened? 2) Carlito visits his cokehead lawyer in the hospital after the mob tried to ice him? Sorry, but I think Carlito would have simply skipped town.

Rating: Brilliantly written and directed, Carlito’s Way boasts powerful performances from Pacino as a world-weary, yet surprisingly decent thug, and Penn as a coked-out lunatic. 9/10 stars.

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