Scorsese has made some great films over the course of his career. GoodFellas, Raging
andTaxi Driver are some of the better films ever
made. Of course, he's made some career missteps too, like Bringing
Out the Dead, Michael Jackson's "Bad" video and, yes, Gangs
of New York.
of New York (2002)
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Daniel Day-Lewis,
and Cameron Diaz
of New York looks as if it was put together to be an epic film.
Not because of the story that is being told but a film that was constructed
to be massive and as over-the-top as possible. It's certainly over-the-top,
but it's not very cohesive or enjoyable.
of New York attempts
to tell the story of Amsterdam (Leonardo DiCaprio), who plots to avenge
the death of his father, "Priest" Vallon. "Priest" was
the leader of a gang of Irish immigrants called the Dead Rabbits, who
ran afoul of Bill "The Butcher" Cutting's gang of "Native" Americans
in a turf war over control of an area of New York City called Five Points.
I wish that was all the movie was about, but it also wants to be about
the Civil War, injustice to immigrants, political corruption, and, oh,
possibly a love story.
The film meanders from telling the story of Amsterdam's attempt at revenge
to a love story involving Cameron Diaz' character. From there, it tries
to make points about the poor being forced to fight in the Civil War,
the North's true feelings about slavery and, well, a lot of other stuff.
My head ached trying to keep some sort of focus on what was happening
and why I should even care about certain elements at all.
The movie is certainly a treat to look at and it's obvious that a lot
of time and effort went into the construction of a reasonable facsimile
of 19th Century New York, but the inane plot and unfocused nature of the
story (or stories, actually) being told make viewing this film more of
an endurance exercise than a pleasure.
19th century New York accent had to be made up/guessed. (Source: The
Internet Movie Database)