THE UNTOUCHABLES (1987)

untouchables

Directed By: Brian DePalma
Written By: David Mamet
Suggested By A Book By: Elliot Ness & Oscar Fraley
Cinematography: Stephen H Burum
Editor: Jerry Greenberg & Bill Pankow 

Cast: Kevin Costner, Robert DeNiro, Sean Connery, Andy Garcia, Charles Martin Smith, Richard Bradford, Billy Drago, Patricia Clarkson, Don Harvey, Jack Kehoe, Del Close 

During the era of Prohibition in the United States, Federal Agent Eliot Ness sets out to stop ruthless Chicago gangster Al Capone and, because of rampant corruption, assembles a small, hand-picked team to help him.

This film has it all great score, great acting, terrific script with hard tough dialogue, classic scenes beautiful camerawork obvious film homages.

This is a film that gives you goosebumps in how good it’s quality is as well as places the ultimate faith in director Brian DePalma and shows you how great he can Be there is just so much to admire in this film.

The noteworthy things in this movie are numerable, Brian dePalma still shows his love of cinema by recreating a pivotal scene from the movie BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN and reestablished it for his own means In scene of heroism. That involves a falling runaway baby carriage during a shoot out. Another scene is the chase of Frank Nitti, Al Capone’s enforcer. Al Capone’s baseball bat meeting and any scene Sean Connery is in especially his element in How to fight Al Capone. Even though Kevin Costner is the star and holds his own. He is just over shadowed by Robert DeNiro and Sean Connery. This is the performance that caps a career and truly shows Sean Connery at his best.

The film shocked me in it’s depiction of killing a child and the ending since you can’t make it Elliot Ness killing the villain Al Capone. Instead he takes out a sort of right hand man as stand in, getting revenge and ultimately defeating or taking down Al Capone

Robert DeNiro stands out in part because of his suits which were designed by Designer Giorgio Armani. Robert DeNiro is used scarcely he is the villain but he is almost like a horror movie slasher or the shark from jaws seen only a few times and each appearance is memorable and menacing or violent in Some way. As he is only In 20 – 30 minutes of the film. Which is over two hours his influence and presence is felt like a looming evil. That they are trying to stop but he keeps getting the upper hand.

The film just looks so beautiful it’s a recreation but seems so sharp and looks realistic but also expensive at the same time. He managers to not only remake and reboot but also reimagine the whole look and scope of the times and the show and story it is based upon.

So Many iconic scenes including the first time i remember seeing a child being killed on screen with a briefcase explosion that telegraphs for the audience this is going to be heartless and violent so of that upsets you this is a good place to stop and leave. A litmus test for the audience. This scene seems to have set a new precedent at the time.

David Mamet’s sparkling. Script is top notch and pours on the machismo for all the characters. Who seem more I. Completion not only to defeat one another but show who is more dangerous and tough. Like a pissing contest throughout.

The only problem is watching this film now it feels dated even for a movie that takes place in the 1940’s and was made in the 1980’s. All the locations feel and look like back lot sets, but other the. That this is a gangster movie classic that doesn’t get enough respect or admiration. It seems to never be brought up when talking about good gangster movies. Maybe because it more focuses on the FBI agents and their pursuit of Al Capone and the mob and they kind of win. Though it does show the smarts and viciousness of the gangsters also.

While this film is over the top stylish. It has a reason to be that way. Instead of way too many films that are stylish and have no substance here there are reasons other the. Visceral and feels justified and done more out of passion. Then just to be mesmerizing to the eyes of the audience.

I can admit to never quite being the biggest Kevin Costner fan. As compared to the company around him his performance feels almost average. Even Charles Martin Smith a Character actor in many films makes his mark here. When his character departs form the movie so does the joy and happiness of the film. It’s like he stood for honor and morality and with him Gone the film Becomes more of a dirty game.

Grade: A

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