What a confusing mess this movie is. It seems the whole thing is shot on a wide-angle, almost fisheye, lens; the cinematographer also has a preference for vignetting and dutch tilts; which, along with a vintage 1954 Detroit setting, is somewhat visually appealing. It’s the convoluted plot that betrays it.
It starts interestingly enough with a man named Curtis; Don Cheadle plays the role way too cool to the point of being unrealistic; making a sketchy “babysitting” deal with a stranger in an alley, but the suspense doesn’t hold up from there. Awkward dialogue and misplaced comedy only make matters worse.
my rating : 2 of 5
These “good” fellas are ruthless mobsters. When they need money, they take it and dare whoever it is they’re taking it from to go to the cops. If you cross them, they’ll whack you, bury your body and go out for drinks. They’re organized criminals, wiseguys, above the law in more than enough ways to keep things running smoothly for themselves. As a kid, Henry Hill always wanted to be one of them.
Goodfellas focuses on him doing just that. The first third is mainly backstory and the plot doesn’t really shoot-up until the final third. That’s when the Lufthansa heist goes down and things begin to fall apart. The movie is too long and some of the acting seems caricatural; Karen is particularly annoying; but it’s an interesting glimpse into the (real) life of the Lucchese crime family.
my rating : 4 of 5