The Godfather: Part II

The Godfather: Part II ★★★★

Pretty incredible.
Considering my lukewarm reaction to the first installment of the trilogy, let's just say I was surprised at how easily Part II gripped me. It's so well-paced that it feels like a 90 minute flick, and so well-shot that I'd endlessly praise the cinematography after viewing on a laptop. And there's not a weak link in terms of performances, but Al Pacino and John Cazale are marvelous in their roles. Sounds trite, I know, but this floored me. Thoroughly excellent stuff!

The biggest thing holding back my opinion is that the Vito plotline doesn't engage me in the way the remainder of the film does. There are some knockout scenes, and it's absolutely integral to the film, just didn't completely work for me this time. The comparison of Vito and Michael is, kind of obviously, what makes the movie, what gives it the nuance that leads it to be so often crowned one of the greats. It's a compelling dual character study, with the two stories intersecting to form a satisfying portrait of a rather complex family. If not (quite) one of my favourites, I'd be comfortable calling it one of the "better" films I've seen, whatever that means to you.

Once I'm done with this scavenger hunt and various other film club/rec swap obligations, I'm immediately giving this and the first film another go.

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