Review Date: April 01, 2001
Director: Ted Demme
Writer: David McKenna, Nick Cassavetes
Producers: Ted Demme, Joel Stillerman, Denis Leary
Another thing that sets this flick apart from the previously mentioned movies is its personal connections which are highlighted to us through its lead character. A very deep father/son relationship is explored here and so is the lead's love for his daughter, which keeps him going through some of the tougher times (having recently had a baby girl himself, I could see how Depp could relate more to this character). Ultimately, you will either be interested in this man's story or not, and I for one, was quite absorbed and entertained. The detailed progression of his beginnings, his rise and his eventual downfall (I don't think I'm giving anything away here) are well paced and convincingly strung together, with lotsa flair via the director's eye, a groovy soundtrack, some entertaining side characters and a very poignant ending. I don't think you should go into this movie expecting to see something entirely different from the films mentioned above, because they do ultimately resemble each other quite a bit in style, pace and general undertone. But the personalities, the struggles and the personal story behind this one is on a fresher tip, and it certainly grabbed me and took me along for quite the ride. The word "epic" was made for this movie. Kudos to Ted Demme for taking the material and turning into an entertaining and touching vehicle, and to Johnny Depp for keeping me glued to the screen with yet another solid performance. Although I do wish he hadn't worn his sunglasses so much, since it didn't allow for the viewer to get into his character's eyes. But alas...
PS: You also shouldn't expect to see much of Cruz or Reubens, who appear to be billed much greater than their characters' respective appearances in the film.