The Untouchables

The Untouchables ★★½


Mostly alone in finding this not only mediocre, but along the lower rung of De Palma’s oeuvre. It’s no secret, I don’t love the guy; his films, to me, are over-produced and gaudy in a way that has never struck me as genuine or even mildly affectionate. This is no exception. My distaste for Kevin Costner doesn’t help matters, but truthfully no one impresses, including Connery and De Niro, typical heavyweights, whose combined thespianism makes it difficult to get a gage on the movie’s tone. (I still don’t know to what level of seriousness we’re supposed to engage with this thing.) Strangely enough, this gave me a sour reminiscence of films like THE INTOUCHABLES and FORREST GUMP. Not in theme, obviously, but in the measured and mechanical ways in which they lapse; I correctly predicted everything that would happen well before it happened, effectively rendering somber and suspenseful moments inert. Procedural itself is uninspired and uninteresting, and showstopping scenes like the slow-mo baby carriage descent reek of cheesy exhibitionism. (Again, was that supposed to evoke tension? Aside from my own intuition I have no way of knowing, though this never appears to be the hammy sideshow that e.g. SNAKE EYES does.) I didn’t hate it the same way I hate things that constantly manufacture ridiculous scenarios with which to pilfer my sympathy, but I was unaroused from start to finish, which is nearly as bad. Morricone can do no wrong, however, and I took incredible solace in that.

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