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Scarface (1983)

July 7, 2009

2/10 Faux-Cubans

I’ve been writing a lot of positive reviews lately, so I figured I’d change things up a bit and write about a movie that I can’t freakin’ stand.

According to the poster, Scarface is about a Cuban immigrant named Tony Montana that comes over to America and makes it big as a drug kingpin because “He loved the American Dream. With a vengeance.” Wow, doesn’t that just send shivers up your spine.

So that is more or less what it’s about, but all I really seem to remember is Al Pacino doing cocaine for two hours and randomly killing people for no reason. I like to think my synopsis is a far more accurate account of what this movie boils down to.

It’s directed by Brian De Palma, who is pretty hit (The Untouchables) or miss (Mission to Mars). For those unfamiliar with De Palma, he has the potential to tell a really good story, but the one thing that always stays constant is that the guy likes his movies really, really violent. Not that violent movies are bad, but gratuitous ones generally are. His movies tend to fall in the latter category, and the bloodbath that is Scarface plays out as a kind of blank canvas for De Palma to go apeshit-sadistic on his audience.

Guys getting a chainsaw taken to them in a shower while tied up like frozen meat within the first 15 minutes of the movie? Charming, Brian, but it gets to be a little much.

So going off my plot synopsis from earlier, you can probably surmise that the storyline is garbage. It’s also backed up by a horrendous ’80s soundtrack that’s comprised entirely of moody synthesizers and hit songs that are best left forgotten for fear of corrupting future generations. But the real problem with this movie was casting Al Pacino, one of the most Italian people on the planet, as a fresh-off-the-boat Cuban immigrant.

Now I like Pacino, he’s a damn good actor, but what the hell? It’s not totally his fault, because the character sucks to begin with, but talk about overacting. You almost feel bad for the guy after a while, it’s embarrassing. Who wants to sit down for two hours and watch him yell every other line all while visibly struggling to lay on this thick Cuban accent that maybe a few select weirdos on Earth actually possess?

Al, man. What were you thinking?

I might not be preaching to the choir here, but I really don’t see the draw to this movie. There are so many other gangster movies out there, including other efforts by De Palma, that are so much better than this that it almost renders this movie’s existence null and void. Go watch the original Scarface from 1932, I hear that’s a hell of a lot better.

Just because everyone on MTV Cribs has a diamond-encrusted shrine to this movie doesn’t make it good. Has anyone on that show even seen the end of this movie? Things don’t end up going all that well for Tony Montana.

Man, screw this movie. I couldn’t wait for Tony Montana to get killed. He’s a totally unlikeable main character and there’s absolutely nothing about his story that makes me ever want to go back and watch this movie again. The moral of Scarface: don’t do coke, don’t kill people, and don’t be a greedy asshole. There’s a better way to lead your life and thousands of better ways to spend two hours.

Boy I hope I get to be on Cribs one day.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Ryan Burke permalink
    July 7, 2009 2:31 pm

    Truly the most overrated movie of all time.

  2. Moose permalink
    July 8, 2009 12:03 pm

    So true.

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