Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Kill the Irishman

Based on a really interesting true story, Kill the Irishman stars Ray Stevenson as Danny Greene, an Irishman who rises to power in the mafia in Cleveland. The movie opens being set in the 1960's on the Cleveland waterfront. Tired of being bullied and overworked, Danny takes the necessary steps to help his union. This eventually leads him to bigger and better things, until eventually he's basically running the Cleveland mafia

Danny Greene's fate is obvious, and it's his murder and investigation that helped the Justice Department bring down the notorious mobster families in New York. Those cases were tried by future New York City Mayor Rudy Guiliani.

In addition to Ray Stevenson, the movie stars Vincent D'Onofrio as Greene's closest ally. You'll remember D'Onofrio from his younger days when he played Private Pyle in Full Metal Jacket. Also starring in the moving is Christopher Walken as on of the mob connections in Cleveland who helps run money from New York, Val Kilmer as the Cleveland detective, Linda Cardellini as his first wife (remember her from Freaks and Geeks?), Tony Darrow, a real-life mobster who also starred in The Sopranos, Paul Sorvino, from Law and Order and he played a mobster in Goodfellas, and finally Laura Ramsey, the very attractive girlfriend of Danny Greene.

The movie was directed by Jonathan Hensleigh, but I read a review of the movie in the Cleveland Plain Dealer that humorously said 'had Danny Greene lived and operated in New York, he would have been a higher profile gangster and the movie would ultimately have been directed by Martin Scorsese and starred Robert de Niro.

Kill the Irishman is Rated R for strong violence (shootings and car bombs), language, and nudity (Laura Ramsey...gggrrrrr)

I really liked this movie. I'd have to say this is one of the better movies that I've seen this year. Had I realized that this movie was based on a true story prior to watching it, I probably would have enjoyed it even more. As it was, once the movie finished and those closing comments came on the screen, I thought, "Oh, crap! I didn't know that!"

Given what I know now and how much I liked this movie while watching it without the historical benefit, I give Kill the Irishman 4.5 stars.

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