I think the movie would have been much better if they would have shown more of the family scenes, like Mario Puzo did in The Godfather. This film showed the Irishman meeting a waitress, but you never see them together in the movie again. You don’t see anything of Jimmy Hoffa’s family or much of Joe Pesci’s family, except for Kathrine Narducci, who was great, playing Joe Pesci’s wife, who wanted to smoke cigarettes in the car. She reminded me of my sister’s friends, growing up in the hood in Pittsburgh.
I just would have liked to see a scene of some of them eating spaghetti and meatballs. Because of this, the film loses that real Italian connection, which so beautifully came off in The Godfather trilogy. I think even Goodfellas did a better job of showing Italian family life in the neighborhood.
I know that Al Pacino is a great actor, so it must have been a fault of the director, because Hoffa came off as a little stupid and weak. I like the Jimmy Hoffa played by Jack Nicholson, who came up from the ranks of a truck driver, well respected by the other truckers. So Pacino’s portrayal of Hoffa didn’t come off either in that way.
I realize that an aging process was used to make Robert De Niro younger, and Al Pacino, but quite frankly I don’t think they looked young enough. I felt that Robert De Niro looked too old to be playing the young Irishman. You had to really use your imagination. And Robert De Niro didn’t seem to have the energy of a young man.
Joe Pesci was wonderful. I would have liked to have seen more of him. I thought that the few minutes that Harvey Keitel played the mafia leader was topnotch. I would have liked to have seen more of him in the film.
All in all, I wouldn’t see it again for a long time, because it’s too long. It could have been done in 2 hours. Director Martin Scorsese.
*MPAA = Motion Picture Association of America