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Over the summer of 1976, thirty-six bombs detonated in the heart of Cleveland while a turf war raged between Irish mobster Danny Greene (Ray Stevenson) 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 (Christopher Walken) and allying himself with gangster John Nardi (Vincent D'Onofrio), Greene stops taking orders from the mafia and pursues his own power. Surviving countless assassination attempts from the mob and killing off anyone who went after him in retaliation, Danny Greene's infamous invincibility and notorious fearlessness eventually led to the collapse of mafia syndicates across the U.S. and also earned him the status of the man the mob couldn't kill.
I was really looking forward to seeing this one since I heard it was coming out, the film was directed by Jonathan Hensleigh and is based on the true story of Danny Greene, an Irish-American thug, revered by his neighbors as a local "Robin Hood," who in the 1970s, declared war on the Cleveland branch of the Italian Mafia. For some reason I was expected this to be a one of those gangster films with a bit of comedy mixed it since I made made sure not to read too much into the story before hand but was pleasantly surprised to find out it wasn't. The cast did a terrific job including Ray Stevenson as the badass Danny Greene, his performance makes you quickly forget the last "Punisher" movie he starred in. But Ray is not alone here, the supporting cast which includes Vincent D'Onofrio, Val Kilmer, Christopher Walken, Paul Sorvino and Robert Davi are all terrific in their roles. It's not often you root for the bad guy but I some how kept wanting this guy to live forever, easily one of the best films of the year. It's too bad it only had a limited theatrical release but now that it's on DVD and Blu-ray I am sure it will quickly gain the cult following it deserves. Raw, gritty and brutal at times, "Kill The Irishman" is a film that instantly grabs your attention and it keeps you invested till the very end. I do think it could of been a bit longer to stretch out the story and characters a little more and I don't mean it as a complaint, I just didn't want to see it end. Genre fans and everyone alike are going to love the film and you will be telling your friends and family about it as well. A kick-ass gangster film that delivers on all levels.
Both the DVD and Blu-ray come with a fascinating documentary about the real Danny Greene. This one is a no-brainer and makes a great addition to your video library. You can order the DVD HERE and the Blu-ray HERE.
Released by Anchor Bay Entertainment
***** Out Of *****