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The Departed

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"The Departed"

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I went to see The Departed last night with a bunch of folks, and I have to say I’m almost embarassed by how much I liked it. Normally, I’d like to strongly recommend a quirky small film or maybe make a strident case on behalf of some apparent shock or geek-out over a comic book adaptation, but this movie star-laden major studio production from super-famous director Martin Scorsese is, well, really excellent. I have an extremely low tolerance for 150 minute films, but this one managed to move along nicely with the last portion of it flirting with being too much while ultimately justifying itself. Leonardo DiCaprio, Martin Sheen, Alec Baldwin, and (especially) Mark Wahlberg all turn-in absolutely first-rate performances and various cops. Matt Damon’s limited acting abilities are very well-deployed to craft a creepy, affectless, soulless monster lurking beneath the skin of a good-looking nice guy.

William Monahan did a fantastic job of adapting Infernal Affairs in a way that brilliantly takes what’s really a very Hong Kong-style story and makes it utterly Boston. Genuinly hilarious moments emerge amidst a fundamentally deeply unfunny storyline. The only weakness that really impedes one’s enjoyment of the film is that Jack Nicholson really gets to be a bit too much at times, and the final shot of the film is shockingly groan-inducing. When you step back and think about it, I’m not sure the set-up really makes any sense, but it’s executed nicely in a way that prevents one from thinking too much about this.

Also, it features the Dropkick Murphys’ utterly awesome song, “I’m Shipping up to Boston”.

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