Apr 18, 2012

The Godfather II [1974]

I got many positive comments on my last post about the second installment, all urging me to see it, so I guess it's safe to say I had high expectations going into "The Godfather II". It didn't meet them, but it was still a damn good movie.

First thing I noticed was that it had a 3 hour 22 minutes running time (that's a bit too much, isn't it?). Second thing: when Al Pacino showed up on the screen, I said to myself "hmm... he looks younger in this movie, that's weird".

Moving on to the actual film, the script, written again by Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola, takes us through the past and the present of the Corleone family, by mixing young Vito's story (early 1900s) with the evolution of Michael in the 1950s- intrigue, in the present, rise of the king, in the past. The script still bothered me, this time by sometimes making too sudden transitions from 1900s to 1950s or not properly explaining the situation or at least showing the year they were in- that was tricky for me when it came to the kids, as they go back and forth between some years in young Vito's life and I don't know which kid is who....I think. See, still confused!

Although it didn't have as many great moments as the first one, my favorite ones of the second  installment were the following scene (when young Vito decides to resolve the local thug situation and goes after him, following his route home from the roof) and the Kay & Michael hotel part, where she finally confronts him. 

As for the characters, there were a lot of new additions to this one and it was hard to follow at times. The returning cast (Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton) was very good, but I thought the actors blended in too much and lost some of their magic and conviction- the only ones that stood out were Talia Shire and John Cazale (Connie and Fredo).

Interestingly enough, in my opinion, the flashbacks were much appealing in every way (cinematography, acting, music etc) than the curent situation, and I was floored by Robert de Niro's performance and appeareance in this movie (*insert girlie comment here: he looks hot and he reminds me of Ryan Gosling somehow. end of comment*). Acting wise and more, if there was a De Niro- Pacino match for Godfather II, the first would win hands down, just for his scary coolness, imense talent and undeniable charisma. Yes, Al Pacino, has that, too, but Robert exceeds it; I was surprised, but not shocked, to learn that he won an Oscar for his portrayal of young Vito Corleone.

All in all, I can't really say too much about it; I still think the first part of the trilogy was better, but part II rose to the ocassion and offered a great show, as well.

Should I watch part III? I probably will, just to know how the story ends and see what happens with Tom Hagen and Connie (my favorite characters)


  1. Yep similar feelings here. I don't get why people say the second part is better. The only thing that stands out for me are the De Niro parts.
    I haven't seen the 3rd part either. My favourite character, which is Tom Hagen, isn't in it.

  2. I prefer this one to the first because of two parallel stories and I guess I remember this one better, that one scene you mention when Vito goes to solve the problem is amazing. 3rd is actually not that bad and has great ending featuring amazing work by Pacino, if I were to make a list of those awesome cinematic moments some bloggers do, I think I'd include this one.

  3. Nikhat: Yeah, I noticed that, too, no Tom Hagen! :(
    Sati: Hmm, I might see it, I'm still not sure! Thanks!

  4. Don't watch the third part. It has its moments but none of it is as compelling as the first 2.

    My favorite character in both films, notably the 2nd one, is Fredo. That scene where he reveals his frustrations for being stepped over was heartbreaking. Cazale's performance made you feel for him.

  5. Interesting! For me it's all about the parallel stories. I love Watching De Niro in the flashbacks but also seeing Pacino sinking lower into the world he is creating. I've never seen the third one though so I'm not sure if you should!

  6. @Steven: I really liked Fredo in the second movie, too, especially at the funeral and the moments with Anthony, Michael's son.
    @Pete: Yeah, 3 is probably going to have to wait :)

  7. I like both films pretty much equally.

    In regards to the third film - go ahead and watch it just to finish out the story. A lot of people have tried to say it is horrible, especially because of Sophia Coppola.

    Both the film and the woman have gotten a bad wrap. Is it as good as the first two? No, but it is still good enough to have received 7 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture.

    Is Coppola that horrible? No, and I went into this film going out of my way to look at her performance with far more scrutiny. There is one scene with Pacino where she looks rough, but how many other people could you say the same thing about?

  8. @Chip: Sounds interesting, and I am curious to see Sofia, the actress, cause Sofia, the director is not someone I particularly like!

  9. I totally agree with you that The Godfather is the superior film. I know a lot of people who prefer Part 2. They're both great but part 1 shades it for me.

  10. @Dan: Yeah, glad to see we agree, part 1 was much better!