Okay, derivative crime drama about an Irish mob syndicate with a top notch cast, but not much else. Sean Penn is the lead, and HE’S A COP, if you don’t figure it out right away; the film’s masterstroke is not to reveal his real job until a third into the film, but the director and Mr. Penn make sure you don’t have the slightest shadow of a doubt that this cat is completely full of shit and has ulterior motives on his mind, like, say, busting his criminal friends who haven’t seen him in 10 years. Some of these friends include Gary Oldman, who evokes Deniro in Mean Streets and turns in easily the most interesting work in the film, John C. Reilly, as a younger version of the John C. Reilly character, and Ed Harris, now the boss, also quite obviously not what everyone thinks he is. Robin Wright is here, not yet Penned, and she sucks as much dick as she sucks in everything else, from Forrest Gump to What Just Happened. She’s bland sauce, and her and her lame-o husband definitely share credit with the director for sinking this film like a stone. His “intensity,” a.k.a. his macho angst that reminds people, but does not evoke, Brando, gives his character no relatability in relation to the real criminals onscreen. His romance with his real life wife, obviously included to get the audience on his side, is just boring, tepid, pointless, and derivative; blue lit bedroom scenes of Penn confessing his street wounds abound. I was getting anxious watching the opening credits for this film, which has a lot of talent on both sides of the camera; now I know why this isn’t a bigger deal in the history books.
Skip it. No point in watching this boring, mediocre trash, even with Gary Oldman doing his sweaty, raving Leon schtick. John Turturro’s in this movie; it’s so bad, he’s not even worth mentioning as a saving grace. I just remembered that he was in it, and figured it should be noted.