MOVIE REVIEW: “The Departed” stars Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant , The Great Gatsby ), Matt Damon (Good Will Hunting, The Bourne Identity), Jack Nicholson (Chinatown, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest), Mark Wahlberg (The Fighter, Boogie Nights), Martin Sheen (Apocalypse Now, Badlands), Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air, Bates Motel [TV series]), Ray Winstone (Beowulf , Cold Mountain), Anthony Anderson (Kangaroo Jack, Transformers ), James Badge Dale (13 Hours, World War Z), and Alec Baldwin (Glengarry Glen Ross, It’s Complicated). It is directed by Martin Scorsese (Shutter Island, Silence ), with the screenplay being written by William Monohan (Body of Lies, Kingdom of Heaven). Undercover cop Billy Costigan (DiCaprio) seeks to take down crime boss Frank Costello (Nicholson), but has difficulty when someone in his police organization, Colin Sullivan (Damon), is the boss’ mole.
Yet another milestone on the website. Wow. I gotta pat myself on the back for this. It’s a job, really. Psh, as if. For those of you who have actually read these reviews, I appreciate you. However few of you there are. Seven hundred reviews over the course of seven years isn’t that bad. It’s always difficult figuring out what film to watch in milestones such as the hundreds. I had to option to see the “Sonic the Hedgehog” movie, but I rightfully declined; I never even had interest to see it generally. What landed me at “The Departed”? I don’t know. It’s an Oscar winner, directed by Scorsese, and starring some of my favorites. It just seemed like a wise choice. After seeing it, I will say that it indeed was. You all know Scorsese. You know his style, you know his stories, you know his world. It’s crime all over again, with mentions of Irishmen, Providence, and drugs. Not as much as “Scarface,” mind you, but enough to warrant a sex scene involving Nicholson and two women (where he casually tosses cocaine on them). Jack’s still got it (or had it, back in 2006). Apparently that scene was suggested by him, though his description to Marty sounded way more risqué than what was eventually cut together. Hardly anything was shown, however we later see Nicholson wielding a dildo in front of Matt Damon’s face in an adult theater. Boy oh boy, you’ll never get moments like these again. I had no clue what I was walking into, and I will say that “The Departed” is far from what you’d expect it to be; that is, in how it is executed. The editing is downright nuts. It took me a while to get used to it. The fast cuts, repetitive use songs, sporadic intercutting. It told the story in a different, unique way that I haven’t seen from a Scorsese picture. Did I like it? Half-and-half. Once I got used to it, I enjoyed it, but the first act was difficult to sift through. You’re smacked in the face constantly by the jump cuts and overflow of information that your mind is as scattered as these detectives trying to lock up Costello (or, maybe it’s as scattered as Costello’s mind becomes… worth a thought). Really, the only thing I truly didn’t like about the editing, which made the movie come off a bit amateurish, is its use of music. I love Rolling Stones as much as the next guy, but when you take a song like “Gimme Shelter” and begin to play it, cut it off randomly, inject a different tune, then cut right back to the beginning of the same verse to loop it, I get ticked off. What’s the point? I’d like to know the reasoning behind choices like these. Apart from that though, the rest of the film is pretty stellar. The acting is awesome, the cinematography is great, and the story is non-stop. Yes, we get a typical Scorsese runtime, but the man has it unfold in spades. While the pacing is downright loony, it’s as intense as heck, and I found myself enjoying it more the further the story unraveled. The scene where DiCaprio picks up the phone to Damon and they sit in silence is astounding. I loved it so much. While the character weight shifts between the two, they both compliment each other on the screen well. Nicholson is the glue that holds them together, and while his Boston accent wavered tremendously (it was probably best he didn’t have an accent to begin with), he still delivered. This is a pairing unlike any other, really. It makes me cherish the experience even more. As the film unravels, you have no telling where it will go, especially with the brutal ending that takes place. I’m sure some will be floored by it, while others will respect it for its grit. I was taken aback by it, that’s for sure. Heck, I was surprised by a lot of elements in this movie. It speedrolls like a train, with no stops in sight. I enjoyed watching the downward spiral and believe this to be yet another great entry by the legend that is Martin Scorsese. While the editing takes some getting used to, the story and performances that bolster this project are fantastic. If you’re interested, I definitely recommend you watch it. FINAL SCORE: 92%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer: