Scarface ★★★★

Not sure it’s necessary for EVERY gangster movie to be like 3 hours long. Some of them definitely deserve the added runtime but this lagged at points for me. Out of all the Brian De Palma movies, this is definitely my favorite, but I haven’t seen all of them yet. Of course, this is the Pacino show. He’s great in The Godfather, I think Part II has my favorite performance from them but he’s able to cut loose a lot more here since he’s always snorting lines of cocaine, basking in dollar bills, shooting guns and getting any woman he wants, the ultimate dream for the modern American man. The final sequence has been hyped up so much that I already knew what was going to happen but I was still shocked by the finale. Even though the script isn’t as great, De Palma has some great cinematography. 

The shot of Tony sitting at a desk with a mountain of coke and when he looks up to see The World Is Yours blimp, inspiring him to build his crime empire are all iconic. He’s really not that bad a person, he’s loyal to his family and refuses to kill women or kids, which is ultimately his downfall. I thought he would be similar to Michael Corleone where he’s forced to become a gangster, but Tony chooses it because he believes in the American Dream and wants the fame he never had earlier in his life. Tony wants it all, he wants the world to be his. Al totally dominates every scene he’s in and without him, I have doubts that Scarface would be as famous as it is now.

It’s somewhat fitting that even though this is a rise-and-fall story like most gangster films, he’s only at the peak of his power during a pure-1980s montage that lasts about 3 minutes before everything goes downhill, and this is a nearly 3 hour film. They’re going to try to remake this and I don’t see the point. Why can’t we get new gangster films as good as this? The 70s had Godfather, the 80s had Scarface, the 90s had Goodfellas and now what? I guess we had The Irishman recently but I haven’t seen that one yet. Anyway, not sure this completely lived up to the hype, but the direction was really good, I was mostly invested for the 3 hours and Pacinos acting saves the whole project and made Tony Montana immortal in cinematic history.

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