Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Kill the Irishman

"Since I'm Irish Catholic, I've got the best guardian angel there is. Besides, it's the man upstairs who pulls the strings." - Danny Greene

Loosely based on the true story of 1970's Cleveland mobster Danny Greene, Kill the Irishman like IRONCLAD is a misplaced gem. I had not even heard of the film even though I would consider myself a fan of most of the cast-a lot of gangster and character actors here, Christopher Walken, Paul Sorvino, Vincent D'Onofrio, Robert Davi, Vinnie Jones and Val Kilmer. But the big one, why I bought it, is Ray Stevenson (Titus Pullo~ROME) as Danny Greene.

Stevenson portrays Greene with a brutal cunning working his way up, only to get knocked down and pull himself up again. The guy was a thug and a criminal but truly one with heart and spirit that you would have wanted to be friends with.

The lynch pin of things truly going downhill is when Danny sets out to borrow 70K from the mob and the courier gets nailed by the cops-they say Danny still owes them, but he maintains he can't owe what he never received. A contract gets put out on the Irishman and he fights back...hard.

Now I love me a great gangster movie-with the caveat that it isn't the atypical "Crime doesn't pay" formula, which may be why I have generally liked British gangster movies more than American gangster movies. But this presentation, taking Danny's life and putting it into 2 hours still feels reasonably full without trying to tell us what to think.
Greene wanted to emulate his Celtic warrior ancestors and thus had his own code of honor. Caught between a rock and a hard place, he stuck to his guns and ended up crippling the mob with some incredible long time repercussions.

The film pulls no punches-just like Danny.

Highly recommended. I strongly suspect that my Robert E. Howard friends will get a kick out of Danny Greene - he seems like a real life Sword & Sorcery hero to me.


Paul R. McNamee said...

Thanks for the tip. I saw that one listed OnDemand and was a little curious. I will definitely check it out now.

David J. West said...

Paul, to me there is the kind of resonance that I think my REH friends will dig it.

Tom Doolan said...

Dammit, not available on NetFlix yet. At least, not on instant view. May have to walk across the street to an actual video store. Thanks for the suggestion, though!

Matthew MacNish said...

Like all the other recommendations you've given, this one looks awesome. It just went to second place on my NetFlix queue.

The Debster said...

Amazing movie! AMAZING! I am obsessed with the Mafia (ask David, it's mental) so this was right up my alley. I found myself actually respecting Danny Greene, as opposed to his Italian counterparts. Danny fought with his own virtue, and it was somewhat admirable.

Plus, it's pretty dang funny to see some of the Italian's he was up against complain about what a "bad guy" he was, and how "blood thirsty" he was in the extras! COME ON!! It's the DAMN MAFIA!!

Charles Gramlich said...

I'd not heard about this one either though I'm intrigued.

David J. West said...

I think you'll like it Tom.

Cool Matthew.

Thanks Darlin', I thought you'd like it.

You like stuff rough and tumble Charles, I imagine you would get into this.

Keith said...

I'm going to have to check this one out. I'm a fan of most of the cast, and I love a good gangster film. And from what I saw in the trailer, I think you're right about this one appealing to fans of REH.

David J. West said...

Right on Keith!