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The Departed (Martin Scorsese)

"Scorsese Is Back To His Old Form & Gives Us The Best Film Of 2006."

Billy Costigan is an undercover cop who gets thrown into the hands of a notorious gangster, Frank Costello. Colin Sullivan is a member of Costello's gang who is a mole in the Boston police department. Once word gets out that there is a mole in the police department and a rat in Costello's gang, things begin to heat up as they try and smoke out the other.

Infernal Affairs blew me away a couple years ago, then I heard that one of my favourite directors was doing a remake. I was a little hesitant at first, I didn't know if I was going to see old Scorsese (Goodfellas, Casino) or the recent Scorsese (Gangs Of New York, The Aviator). Granted the films under his belt as of late are not horrible, in fact they're great, they just don't have that old school touch that made Scorsese such a great director. With The Departed Scorsese is back to his old form and gives us the best film of 2006.

The Departed is full of old school tricks from Scorsese. From an Iris Out and that classic Goodfellas feel, it makes for an intense thrill ride that will have you on the edge of your seat. With the crop of films this year not being all that great (save for a select few), The Departed blows them all out of the water. It's brutal with it's violence and doesn't hold back on anything.

DiCaprio and Damon both shine in their roles, with DiCaprio having the more intense part and more screen time. I only favour DiCaprio a tad more because the scenes with Damon and Farmiga are a tad boring to watch. It was a joy to watch both of these characters slowly lose their minds being on both sides of the fence. Although they both shine in this film, they can't touch the great Nicholson. He is absolutely astonishing. He owns every scene he is in, even when he starts acting like a rat. He has this evil presence about him in this film, but he plays it with such a comedic tone, you can't hate the guy, but you can fear him. After seeing how great he is in this film I'm left wondering why Scorsese and Nicholson haven't worked together before now.

Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Alec Baldwin, Vera Farmiga and even Anthony Anderson all blend well together to bring the cast of The Departed full circle. Wahlberg stands out in this list, he is just as mean and foul mouthed as Nicholson and can actually hold his own with such a prominent actor as Sheen sitting right beside him. Alec Baldwin is a joy to watch as he spits out his comedic lines left right and centre and Martin Sheen brings the missing piece that fits the thrilling puzzle that is The Departed.

There are numerous violent scenes that scream Goodfellas or Casino and it's nice to get that old feeling back. The film is gritty, brutal and violent and doesn't let you sit there and feel comfortable with any of it. People are getting shot left right and centre, beaten to death, hit numerous times with coat racks, beaten with shoes, stabbed, thrown out of buildings. The blood splashes all over the screen and with people getting shot in the face everywhere, you feel the uneasiness that Scorsese wanted. It's not as brutal as the one infamous baseball bat scene in Casino, but it ranks up there.

The film does tend to drag on in certain areas, but that's expected. With it's fast story telling pace, Scorsese slows it down a bit so we can get to know more about who these two characters are. He keeps us on the edge of our seats wondering if their cover is going to be blown cause it can be blown at any point in time. Even after watching Infernal Affairs I was still tense, wondering what was going to happen next. That is the work of a great director.

The Departed will get recognized by the Academy, but I doubt it will win anything. Scorsese is after 0/5 in that race. One can only hope though, cause he deserves it so much. This film, although definitely not his best (I don't think anything he does will surpass Goodfellas) packs one hell of a bloody punch. It has strong performances and a dark comedic tone that will have you laughing along with it. In the hands of any other director, it could have been a mess. Thank you Mr. Scorsese, for letting me have fun at the movies again.