Robert De Niro- Frank Sheeran
Al Pacino- Jimmy Hoffa
Joe Pesci- Russell Bufalino
Martin Scorsese brings his mob epic & theory on the death of Jimmy Hoffa to the big screen with “The Irishman”.
Frank Sheeran (De Niro) is a local deliveryman in the Philadelphia area bringing sides of beef to restaurants until his truck broke drown on the highway and he meets with mobster Russell Bufalino (Pesci). Frank also known as “The Irishman” and a hard worker to the business owners. Felix “Skinny Razor” DiTullio (Bobby Carnavale), the nickname comes from Felix using a straight razor when it comes to his competition, meets with Frank who explains he can get him better steaks cheaper. Sheeran manipulates the truck inventory and the beef that “falls off the truck” is brought to DiTullio.
Sheeran keeps supplying the mob with meat until he is bringing an empty truck to the warehouse and claiming ignorance on where the beef went. The union protected Frank who was an exemplary employee and therefore unable to be terminated by the company. Frank’s union lawyer way Bill Bufalino (Ray Ramano) celebrate their victory with dinner where they run into Bill’s brother Russell, whom Frank had already met. Russell who was not a Mob boss but he was Angelo Bruno’s (Harvey Keitel) right hand and knew everything that was going on in the family. Russell throws some work Sheeran’s way but like any mobster Frank also took on some side work for extra cash. One such job was to blow up a rival cleaner for a friend of the family but it turns out that the rival cleaners was owned by Bruno. Bruno explains to frank and asks him to make it right and Sheeran shoots the guy who hired him for the laundry job in the head.
Frank is now entrenched in the family and is also known to paint houses which is mob speak for a hitman. Frank moved up in the family quickly and was assigned to protect a union leader named Jimmy Hoffa (Pacino) who had been getting death threats. Sheeran and Hoffa were quick friends and their families became close. Frank’s daughter even did a report in school on Uncle Jimmy. As Hoffa’s popularity with the Labor unions grew, so did his ego thinking he was bigger than the law and the mob. Jimmy paid back Frank by making him the leader of a teamster local.
Russell, Bruno and the family had their hands full with Hoffa and now with the election of John F Kennedy. Kennedy appointed his brother Robert) Jack Huston as attorney general and he had his sights set on organized crime.
The Irishman opens with Sheeran and Bufalino with their wives making a road trip to Detroit for a wedding that would serve as a way to fix things with the family.
The Irishman is Martin Scorsese’s mob epic with a “super” cast and story revolving around the happenings and death of Labor leader Jimmy Hoffa. Scorsese seems to always have to make the marathon film and the Irishman is no different with a running time of 3 ½ hours and could have been just as good with 30 mins of filler removed. The story, theory on Hoffa and acting in the film are all exceptional with DeNiro the only A list actor that I had only a small issue with. DeNiro seemed stiff and almost robotic in his character, unlike his acting in Goodfellas. I am sure we will hear “The Irishman” numerous times during the awards this upcoming season.
I’m Karl the Flick Fanatic telling you to be well rested and find a theater with lounge seats and get the big tub of popcorn because when you see “the Irishman” you are literally in for the long haul and there are no intermissions.
FLICKANALYSIS GRADE: 5/5 STARS