copyright © Jedo Dre 2011

When Al Pacino played a certain other Southern gentleman in the movie Scarface, I believed he was from Cuba. In this movie he is supposed to be a Puerto Rican gangster, but frankly, what I see is an older white man who's trying to walk cool and he only looks whiter because of the black clothing and dark glasses he is wearing.

The believability of characters suffers overall due to their actions and the mood that this movie picks. Al Pacino's character for example is charming to the max and never does anything evil or at least undeserved...for someone who is supposedly a hardened criminal. His love interest, and by extension their relationship, is not very believable. Not because they do not have chemistry, they do, but the story is such that she should hate him or at the very least have a very complicated attitude but instead it plays out like a fairytale.

At one point in this movie during a heartfelt moment I started hearing high pitched touches on a piano, the kind of music you would hear in a romantic comedy.

This light mood is strange because at times there is some pretty violent stuff happening.

One of the best things about this movie, though it takes a while to pay off, is Sean Penn as the shady lawyer. This guy has some range. Seeing him as this nervous slithering pair of round glasses with curly hair is amazing, considering the other roles he has played.

The storyline is largely transparent. A criminal is trying to retire and that does not want to work. It's another gangster movie.

But it is an entertaining gangster movie. It flows well. It has a style it is sticking with. It is well shot. It is like a shiny 80s blues or jazz record. It is a bright gangster movie if there is such a thing and it grows on you towards the end.

Carlito's Way