Kinda feels like this wanted to be a throwback to the 'emasculated, middle class white guy becomes self-actualized through wanton violence' strain of action movie that was so popular in the aughties (think Mark Millar's "Wanted"), except the filmmakers realized that's dangerous water in 2021 and an ordinary joe protagonist wouldn't allow them to indulge in the "John Wick"-style comic book setpieces. But I gotta ask, wouldn't this have been more interesting if he really was a, uh, "Nobody"?
Mostly eschews the exploitative nature of other recent Netflix crime docs (though I'm pretty sure I heard "Tick of the Clock" by Chromatics from the "Drive" soundtrack at one point). While the filmmakers don't probe deep enough into many underlying issues here, including racial tension in Riverside and the criminal history of the subject family, the twisting narrative leaves the viewer with plenty to think about. 2006 doesn't feel that long ago to me but the doc made it feel like ancient history—MySpace, She Wants Revenge, Windows XP.
The film opens with Superman's primal scream of agony reverberating throughout the universe—somehow a potent metaphor for the grief Zack Snyder has no doubt experienced these last few years. In what seems like another lifetime now, I wrote that the theatrical cut of "Justice League" possessed 'enough Snyder-esque DNA to make me wonder about the movie we could have gotten'; the fact that 'the movie we could have gotten' is finally here seems a small miracle, such that I found…
"You don't know how good a friend you got."
A late career masterwork from director Martin Scorsese, "The Irishman" is a film that encompasses many things—Shakespearean tragedy writ large, secret backroom history of the second half of the American 20th century—but on one level I'm simply thrilled we've been granted a story this dense, this meaningful on the subject of male friendship.