What I liked about it was the lack of myth-making and the excellent performances, particularly Chris Penn, who owns this movie. Walken gives the same performance over and over in his movies. Unfortunately the violence is predictable even when it isn't.
A great film, great script and brilliant actors that all click perfectly, raising the bar to a level that is achieved when great actors are beyond the point of just making a movie-they are performing for each other. And there's the film's essence, that addresses the ultimate question: the nature of "right" vs. "wrong". Is it wrong to kill? Society condones killing...if there's a good reason. What's a good reason???
Chris Penn, Christopher Walken, Vincent Gallo, Benicio Del Toro, Annabella Sciorra, Isabella Rossellini...a ridiculous number of great performances. A different kind of mobster film, the criminal lifestyle is passed down along with serious psychological problems. The difference in how the three brothers deal with this legacy, makes an interesting conflict. Nobody's hands are clean and the past keeps hanging around.
Very underrated Ferrara film, and a real dream cast to boot. Chris Penn delivers his definitive performance, IMO, and the finale is truly shocking. Solid performances from Benicio, Gallo, and Walken, not to mention a strong female character in Sciorra (atypical of the Ferrara films I've seen). As far as gangster films, this one has real heart and depends less on action than on sheer character study.
This is quite bleak, full of unsympathetic characters, all of them. Without exception. It makes it really difficult to watch. The cast, on paper, is tremendous but unfortunately no emotional feel is connectable to them. At times even boring for a mobster movie. Christopher Walken sucks. Disappointing.