This remake of the 1932 Howard Hawks film of the same name substitutes the crime world of 1920s Chicago with the drug trade of 1980s Miami, as violent, megalomaniac Cuban drug lord Tony Montana ascends the mob ranks.
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A brash, Day-Glo coloured, plastic-operatic-fantasia of excess that is essentially 'about' excess; the excess of 80s capitalism against the corruption of the American dream. While far from Stone's greatest script, the film has a tremendous energy; the powerhouse combo of Pacino's performance, De Palma's direction & Scarfiotti's design resulting in something that's part Hitchcock's Godfather, part avant-garde "event."
Perhaps the single most ridiculously camp film ever made. If The Godfather is the Shakespeare of gangster movies, then this is the Wiseau. The story of how a man, driven insane by his incestuous guilt and diminutive stature, gets high on his own supply, adopts a terrible Cuban accent, and invests in some quite dreadful lacquered furniture. Absolutely bonkers.
First time I watched it (early teens), I loved it.
Second time I watched it (16-17), I hated it.
One of the most over rated films of all time along with Goodfellas, but at least Goodfellas is still a good film.
The man wanted a tiger so he bought a fucking tiger. That, my friends, is true power. Yes, I know, he also built an empire but what really matters here is the correlation between the verbs "to want" and "to have".
Brian DePalma wants to be Jean-Luc Godard, but all he can do is make mediocre movies. Most end up looking like made for TV movies. The appeal of this movie is the glorification of drugs and violence. Yippee!
'The world is yours' Notorious bomb and critically despised picture back in '83 that has since become an American rags to riches classic in its ultimate depiction of the American dream. The last word in eighties excess and bling achievement which has so resonated with the hip hop generation. A crime Alonzo wasn't nominated for his breathtaking cinematography. But the heart of the picture is truly Al Pacino.
It's a great film. But it's sad, in a way, to see how much today's losers misinterpret this film, thinking that Tony Montana is the ultimate figure of power. He's just one of the most powerful losers in the history of cinema, a loser with all the money and all the coke of the world, who ends up all alone. That's what the film is about to me. It is incredible though.
Very much an artifact of the 80s, but in a good way. It's nowhere near as large or legendary as its pop culture reputation, but it is not nearly as bad as film snobs try to make it. A fun gangster epic, not as good as the best in the genre, but still outstanding.