Brian De Palma returns to the world of gangsters. This time he travels back to the Prohibition era, instead of revisiting the world of Scarface. With David Mamet on board for the script and Sean Connery bringing some class to the cast you'd think the buzz would be about the film. Instead all anyone on TV could talk about was how much weight Robert De Niro gained for the part. Kinda missed the point there folks. Thing is, you may not notice his chubbiness with all the bullets and blood flying.
Prohibition rages throughout the United States, and gangsters like Al Capone (Robert De Niro) are making a killing, and killing anyone that gets in their way. Things have gotten so bad in Chicago that a special unit is formed to take down Capone. The leader of that team is Eliot Ness (Kevin Coster) a man with a strong sense of justice and a desire to uphold the law. Unfortunately Ness is thwarted the rampant corruption in the police force, and finds himself at a loss. So he creates a band of incorruptible, untouchable men who will strike Capone where it hurts.
There’s Jim Malone (Sean Connery) a beat cop whose world-weary experience guides the team. Sharpshooter George Stone (Andy Garcia) is the youngest member of the team. Oscar Wallace (Charles Martin Smith) may be an accountant, but his research into Capone’s finances may provide the key to bringing down the gangster. But arrayed against them are a bunch of Tommy guns, exploding children and a wicked henchman played by Billy Drago. Will Eliot Ness and his Untouchables be able to clean up Chicago?
- Some great dialogue and entertaining performances
- De Palma’s brisk pace and visual flourishes keep things interesting
- Balances the action with human drama
- Some of the acting choices are… interesting
- The visual flourishes will rub some folks the wrong way
- This is one violent movie and bloody movie
This is one of those movies I loved in my youth. I loved the energy to it, and the way De Palma filmed the Prohibition era. I was wondering if I would still enjoy it so many years later. Some of the shine has worn away, but the movie is solidly entertaining. Some of the dialogue is still very quotable. Some of the visual sequences are still impressive. And while Connery’s accent seems a bit silly to me these days, his performance gives the movie a nice heart. I enjoyed revisiting this one.
Scores (out of 5)
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