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The Untouchables

Part Of Rodent's 15 Review Marathon Of The 1980s Classics And Their Sequels

Review #156 (11th of 15): The Untouchables

Elliott Ness, a hot headed and self-sure Beaureau Of Prohibition officer is called into Chicago to stop Al Capone from illegally selling booze at extortionate prices. Ness summons a team of his choosing that consists of Beat Cop Jimmy Malone, new recruit to the police and hot-shot youngster George Stone and an accountant called Oscar Wallace.

The four head out into the big city to bring an end to Capone's criminal dealings... but what none of them counted on was exactly how dangerous Capone really is and they will all be taken down the ugly paths of justice, injustice, police corruption and good old fashioned gunfights.

Another brilliant turn of direction from Brian De Palma brings a beautifully shot and written movie to the screen.

The Untouchables is quite often forgotten about when it comes to movie 'classics'... which is a shame really.
It's a very stylish and gritty turn of events that, with a little artistic licence, gives the viewer some really fine thrills and spills.

The screenplay is top work though. Watching how the team of heroes piece together their investigation and the variety of character that's contained within the group really brings out the best in the cast and gives the story a wonderful flavour of character too.

There's lashings of differing styles as well depending what scene is currently playing. It tends to change dramatically in tone depending whether there's a hero or a villain on screen, which adds much much more to the proceedings.

The other thing the movie has is genuine emotion laced throughout. It's not just a typical gangster shoot 'em up actioner with a story behind it. There's masses of character driven plots and subplots and some of it is pretty touching too.

The acting is also great.
Kevin Costner as Elliott Ness is, well, typical Costner. He's excitable, full of charisma and has a real authority about him when he's on the chase. The quieter scens at home with his family are also played well by Costner.

Andy Garcia is good too as the young recruit George Stone. His natural on-screen chemistry with everyone else is top work and you can tell he's enjoying himself. For me, it's one of Garcia's best roles.
Charles Martin Smith is as always a breath of fresh air as Oscar Wallace. His out of his depth persona works really well with the character and eventually comes into his own toward the end and shows his worth as a tough guy.

Sean Connery however, isn't quite what I was expecting. He plays the role really well, as is always the case with Sean. However he was supposed to be playing an Irishman... and Connery's accent is worse than his attempts in Red October... it's like he couldn't be ar*ed. Still though, his on screen presence is always a good point.

Robert De Niro steals the show almost though as Capone. He's not on screen as much as the others but when he is... wow. De Niro's natural ability to play it cool and extremely threatening at the same time really shines in the role and when he explodes, oh boy does the audience feel it.

Back up comes from the wonderful Patricia Clarkson and the slimy Billy Drago.

There are a few hits of action throughout too and it's well put together. Some of it misses the mark a little though, I couldn't help but want it to be a little bigger.
Still though, the well rounded and different characteristics of the main cast really shows the action for what it is.
The whole lot blends and works brilliantly together.


All in all, like a few I've covered on here, it's not perfect... but it's still a really gritty yet highly stylised telling of the Al Capone story... this time with the good guys at the foreground, which gives it an edge over most other Capone movies.
There are also some really moving and sombre scenes throughout too that never fail to capture the audience.

My rating: 92%