Excerpt: With all of the mob movies out there, it’s surprising that only Chicago, Vegas, and of course, New York receive any publicity. There are other cities in the world with organized crime, and some of them have some pretty noteworthy stories to tell.
Excerpt: Over the summer of 1976, thirty-six bombs detonate in the heart of Cleveland while a turf war raged between Irish mobster Danny Greene and the Italian mafia. Based on a true story, "Kill The Irishman" chronicles Greene's heroic rise from a tough Cleveland neighborhood to become an enforcer in the local mob. Turning the tables on loan shark Shondor Birns and allying himself with gangster John Nardi, Greene stops taking orders from the mafia and pursues his own power.
Conclusion: 'Kill the Irishman' had some interesting source material to work with, and it does indeed offer a few isolated thrills, but lackluster writing and directing lead to a pretty mediocre film. The video and audio presentations get the job done but reveal the limitations of the movie's modest budget. Supplements are very slim but the included documentary is definitely worth a look.
Summary: What happens when you put together a bunch of not-quite A list actors with a bunch of actors who have starred in so many mob movies that people who call them “whack” wish they hadn’t? You get the movie Kill the Irishman . Ray Stevenson turns in a wonderful performance as Danny Greene, but unfortunately the praise starts and ends there.
Excerpt: Ray Stevenson played the Punisher a couple of years ago, the Marvel comic creation who runs in guns blazing, shooting up entire buildings full of people, and even blows someone up with a rocket launcher. In comparison, Danny Greene has a pair twice that size, and the fact that Stevenson looks almost exactly like the Cleveland mobster simply makes him more intimidating.
Excerpt: “As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster.” This famous piece of narration, from Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas , isn’t repeated in the new gangster drama Kill The Irishman , but it certainly feels implied. The ever-present voiceover, the oft-ironic mix of period pop songs and old standards on the soundtrack, the cast of gangster-genre regulars (including Paul Sorvino): All make the comparison unmistakable, and inevitably unflattering.
Summary: Set in the '70s and endowed with the era's crime-drama muscle, "Kill the Irishman" also suffers from the period's proclivity for cloying sentiment and a tendency to Robin Hood-ize its story of a rising Cleveland criminal.
Conclusion: Kill the Irishman is a fairly typical gangster flick placed in an atypical setting, Cleveland, and with an atypical lead character, Danny Greene. A lot of this film plays like leftovers from any number of better known gangster movies, but it manages to overcome this weakness by dint of the fact that it is anchored by an amazingly visceral performance by Ray Stevenson, who explodes into mainstream film prominence with this role.