Kill The Irishman stars Ray Stevenson as the legendary Irish-American thug Danny Greene. Greene was first introduced in the film as a physical laborer who ended up climbing the ranks into the position of the local union president. Ultimately he was brought down from his power due to corruption and he was forced to start his life from scratch. Thanks to some of the locals (Vincent D’Onofrio and Christopher Walken) he was able to land back on his feet and therefore found himself taking more responsibilities within the Italian mafia. Greene’s personality doesn’t end up clicking with the higher ups and he finds himself trying to make an independent name for himself through some very confrontational ways. While breaking into his independent state he is very vocal against the mafia which leads to all out war between the two of them. Greene achieves a notoriety that is hard to believe and ignore. In the summer of 1976 between himself and the mafia the Cleveland area suffered many murders and 36 area bombings.
Ray Stevenson is the key to this film’s success. Stevenson gives us a very dynamic and fearless performance. He found perfect balance as Greene considering Greene was a very appealing people person and Stevenson never let go of his hard edge style. When I say “hard edge style”, I mean the characters that he tends to like to play. Look at the list his past performances that put him in that character category; Frank Castle in Punisher: War Zone, Titus Pullo in Rome and others. I’m more so leaning towards Punisher: War Zone. Of course Stevenson isn’t alone in this movie. We have the likes of Vincent D’Onofrio, Christopher Walken and Val Kilmer. However, I find that even with those bigger names in this piece, the movie is still Stevenson’s movie. Considering that the movie is a biography about Danny Greene’s life, no other character is going to steal the show from him.
I felt like Kill The Irishman was better the first time I saw it in theaters, however it was still worth the other watches. It was filled with awesome explosions, which was captured very clearly throughout the summer of 1976. It clearly shows why Danny Greene was revered by his neighbors as the local “Robin Hood”.
Although I did like this movie I did have a few bones to pick with it. I felt like they didn’t go very deep into the back story on a lot of the characters that they could have. Yes, of course you see the rise and fall of Danny Greene but you don’t see the connection between him and any other characters. Really the only character that you see a little bit of relationship and back story with is that of Val Kilmer‘s character. And that isn’t even that deep when it comes to relationships with the principle character. Another thing that got me to a little was the fact it had a run time of 106 minutes. That might not seem like much for this type of movie, but at times those minutes just dragged on with useless dialogue.
As far as Blu-ray quality for Kill The Irishman we get what we normally would get from an Anchor Bay release. I felt like the video quality was clear and crisp when it needed to be. The colors weren’t necessarily deep and rich like a lot of other movies tend to be these days, however the colors worked in favor of the time era. Take it as you will, it’s not perfect but at the same time, it’s not terrible.
However when it comes to audio quality the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix jumped out like crazy. Every single opportunity that it had to be amazing, it took it. Considering the movie is pretty much all based around the car bombings, you better have a good audio mix in hand. It didn’t seem that it was super over powering though, the dialogue scenes were spot on as well.
Kill The Irishman is a bit lackluster when it comes to the special features. I was not very impressed with any of the special features for this film.
Danny Greene: The Rise And Fall Of The Irishman: This documentary is an hour long and contains interviews and commentary of people who knew Danny Greene. Along with those interviews we are given the real TV footage and clips from back when all of this was happening. This gives a nice incite into who Danny Greene really was.
Theatrical Trailer: This is exactly as it sounds like, a theatrical trailer for Kill The Irishman.
Overall, I found myself liking Kill The Irishman more the first time I watched it. To me it seemed to loose a lot of the replay value that I thought it might have. At first I was really curious to see what all I didn’t pick up throughout the first viewing. Then I reluctantly watched it a couple of more times and it just went down hill from there. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that this is a movie that people should at least see once because it was good overall. Just know ahead of time that between all of the explosions that are in the film (later in the movie) you are going to get dialogue which some find to be slow and boring. Keep in mind the awesome Dolby TrueHD audio track that the Blu-ray is packed with and the decent video transfer as well.
Movie – 8/10
Video – 7/10
Audio – 8/10
Special Features – 3.5/10
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