Directed By: Francis Ford Coppola
Written By: Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puzo
This is an awful movie plain and simple. It is stupid for a number of reasons and mainly because it does not even remotely correlate with the original story. It was a desperate attempt to make bank on a popular franchise and they blew it. I am perfectly aware of how many awards it was nominated for and all I can say is that those people were lying. It’s The Godfather and after more than 15 years of waiting for it to be made they were all going to gush over how great it was whether it was true or not. This is a stupid movie and I will not even waste my time with it now by suffering through the two hours and forty-two minutes of monotony.
I will tell you why this is a stupid movie that doesn’t correlate with the original story. Lucy Mancini did not have a son by Sonny Corleone and that is specifically covered in the book. After Sonny was killed Don Corleone personally went to see Lucy Mancini if I’m not mistaken, although he may have sent Tom Hagen. It doesn’t matter though because she was specifically asked if she was pregnant and was not. She then went on to be part of the staff at the family owned hotel in Las Vegas where she met and fell in love with a doctor employed by the family owned hospital in Vegas. So to create a story that revolves around a character that clearly didn’t exist is stupid. Sonny had two legitimate sons and I think the story would have been better had they just used one of them. Of course that is assuming they didn’t have them enter a sexual relationship with their cousin. Secondly, and I know this started in the second film, but Michael Corleone did not have a daughter. In the first book it specifically mentioned that Kay had given Michael two sons. Although because of the films the sequels to the novels include the Mary character. Thirdly, this movie is stupid because it is BORING as hell, and because there is no Tom Hagen. Robert Duvall was supposed to be in it but demanded the same amount of money Pacino was getting and was simply written out of the script. That was a bad idea and a serious part of why this movie was so bad. All the Godfather characters are gone here, with the exception of Connie and Al Neri. The problem with including Al Neri in such a large part is that none of the movies clearly explain who he is. Neither the first film nor the second clearly explain who Neri is and until I had read the book I had no idea why Vincent seemed to value his opinion so much. Now to the biggest reason this is a stupid movie.
INCEST does not belong in such a great franchise and I think the man who put forth that idea should be beaten, and then the man that allowed it to be part of the movie should be beaten. It was an awful idea and I can’t believe somebody approved it. Granted they are simply cousins, but when did “simply being cousins” not cause offense? I don’t care what anybody says, it was incest, and it was stupid. Not only that but the whole point of legitimizing the family only makes for a boring story. Yeah it makes sense because that was always Michael’s dream but it still makes for a story that sucks. People watch mob movies to see the crimes, to see the killing, to see the great power and manipulation. When they are trying to turn into legitimate people then they are no different than Spiderman deciding he doesn’t want to be a hero anymore. What good is he if he isn’t the hero anymore? Why even pay attention to his story? That goes double for a beloved mafia franchise trying to not be in the mafia anymore. It’s lame and who cares?
Since I have mentioned that Al Neri is never really properly introduced in the movies I will explain who he is. Al Neri was a Sicilian police officer in New York who had a real mean streak to him. He did not take bribes and took his job very seriously. On one call he went too far and killed a criminal in his efforts to subdue him. Despite his good police record he was imprisoned and let go from the police force. It was Michael who found him, took care of his troubles, and offered him a position in the family. Al Neri is more or less Michael’s version of Luca Brasi. Luca was a true killer that Don Corleone feared but had bent to his own will nonetheless. The Don tells Michael about the importance of having a man like this, a man without fear that can be counted on. Al becomes this man for Michael and is always at his side throughout the novel sequels. Al’s role is head of security for the Corleones in Vegas but he operates as Michael’s main enforcer. In the first film we see Al Neri dressed in his police uniform and he is the man that shoots Don Barzini. He doesn’t say a single word in the movie and his name is never mentioned. We see him many times throughout the second movie but I don’t think he was ever properly introduced there either. He is seen on the big board in the courtroom as a high ranking family member and he is the man that executes Fredo. Still we never really find out who he is in either of these movies as it is never explained.
In closing I just want to again express how bad this movie is. IT HAS INCEST IN IT! That says it all, incest is gross and dangerous. It has no place in a franchise about such a famous family that is loved by all. I haven’t even mentioned how bad casting was when they called on names like Andy Garcia and Joe Mantegna for key roles. I know that Garcia was nominated for his role in the film but like I mentioned earlier, these decision makers were lying to themselves. They nominated this film for Best Picture of the year for Christ’s sake, if that’s not a move made for political purposes I don’t know what is. This movie is specifically a waste of your time, and I would almost go as far to say the second one is practically a waste of your time as well. If you want a truly fulfilling continuation of the first film then read the books by Mark Winegadner. The Godfather Returns and The Godfather’s Revenge are both exciting and well written books that are actually worth your time.
NEXT MOVIE: Goodfellas (1990)