Imagine being in your mid-70s and still creating performances for audiences on the big screen, looking practically the same age as you did 30 or even 40 years ago?

Director Martin Scorsese redefines the technological aspects of cinema and creates a film unlike audiences have seen before, bringing actors of an older age such as Al Pacino (79), Joe Pesci (76) and Robert DeNiro (76) and creating a 3.5-hour long epic, “The Irishman.” 

Based on a novel by Charles Brandt, I Heard You Paint Houses, Scorsese sets up the film as if you were going to visit grandpa at a retirement home and the rest of the film is his story, at least it feels that way, from the long and drawn out sequences and several anticlimactic moments. 

It is films such as “The Godfather Part I and II,” “Casino,” “Goodfellas,” and “Scarface” that have paved the way for “The Irishman” and broadens the audience outside of critics and award members. 

Scorsese, overall, is willing to showcase the life story by taking characters who are played by the same actors and using facial recognition CGI to take the audience into parts of their earlier and later life. 

De-aging technology has been around for quite some time, as seen with Samuel L. Jackson in “Captain Marvel,” Will Smith in “Gemini Man,” Johnny Depp in “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” with Michelle Pfeiffer, Kurt Russell, Robert Downey Jr. and Michael Douglas, mostly in Marvel Studios films.

Although somewhat convincing in the aforementioned example, “The Irishman”’s technology advancements are quite believable and emotional.

A takeaway from the film was how sympathetic and invested one might get with the actual characters. Credit the exceptional work of Pacino, Pesci and DeNiro. 

Pacino (Jimmy Hoffa) is admirable and quite intimidating. His innocent look paired with his authoritative power in the film is a delight to see every time he appears on screen. Based on an actual person, it was interesting to see an important figure in the American mob history get a storyline in the big screen. Although only appearing midway into the film, his third act performance is absolutely incredible.

But one of the most breathtaking performances aside from DeNiro is Joe Pesci. Many people might recognize him from the cult Christmas classic, “Home Alone,” but his fine work is on display in “Raging Bull,” “Casino,” to “Goodfellas.”

His duo collaboration with Scorsese and DeNiro is a relationship that really shines through on camera. Pesci (Russell Bufalino) is sympathetic and most caring in terms of being a loyal person to his peers in the film. His transitions in life are emotionally and physically impactful. 

DeNiro (Frank Sheeran) is the first and last person you see on screen, proving how much range he has. The conflict between maintaining a living and a family is gut wrenching.

The length of a film is a warning to some that it is hard to watch at times, but luckily since being released on Netflix, you can take your time. 



Director: Martin Scorsese

Cast: Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci, Al Pacino, Ray Romano  

Sebastian Guzman