Owen Hughes’s review published on Letterboxd:
After watching Apocalypse Now yesterday, and having re-watched Godfather not too long ago, I decided now would be as good a time as any to watch Part II seeing as I couldn't really remember much/anything about it. It picks up from where the first film left off, pretty much, with Pacino playing Michael Corleone, the head of the Family (capital 'F'), as he tries to expand his reach whilst also keeping his family (lower case 'f') together. It also tells the story of Vito Corleone's arrival in the US in the early 20th century, played by Bobby (oooOOOH) De Niro (aaaaAAAHH)
What I did remember about the Godfather films is that I preferred the first to the second, which I was told was odd as most people think the sequel tops it, but I'm not convinced. I think as good as De Niro is, and as brilliantly as Pacino steps up to being the "face" of the film, it misses a certain something that Brando brings to the film. Him not being there perhaps means there is more room for the other actors to expand into, and maybe he over-shone everyone else in the original a tad, but he was unequivocally the star of the film. I know he couldn't feature at all, and to have him pop up as a cameo would've just been a slap in the face to everyone else, but I missed the ol' broken jawed guy.
Other than that, can't fault it really. I could talk about how good it is in each and every different aspect but everyone knows how good it is already. It would be foolish to say how beautiful the sets are, how superb the music is, how stunning the performances, how emotional the story is, etc. So I won't.
I've never seen Godfather 3 all the way through, I've rented it from HTC Watch about 3 times but could never be bothered with it before the time ran out. I wasn't ever impressed with the bits I did see either and I know it's meant to actually be shit. Oh well. But Godfather, Godfather Part 2 and Apocalypse Now all released all within 7 years of each other; amazing really that Coppola did that then went on to make shit like Dracula.