Yeah yeah yeah it’s midway through the month and I should be watching Godfather Part III but here I am just typing up my review to Part II (which I DID watch before the end of May, so it kinda counts.) My wife says I should be ashamed, even more so than a typical Cinema Shame… and I am. So here it is, however brief it may be.
After the unexpected success of The Godfather, it’s no surprise that the studios demanded a sequel, and I think they got even more than they ever expected from it. Widely considered the premier sequel that all should look up to, The Godfather Part II is a rousing success on every. single. level. And it improves on it’s predecessor in ways you knew it would do, but didn’t know how.
It’s sprawling and widely ambitious, the stakes are higher than ever before, and yet it never loses that intimacy that made the first so great. For being both a sequel AND a prequel (WHO KNEW?!) it never loses its focus.
For all the ways De Niro’s Vito rises to the respectable (if still brutal) Don he was always meant to be, seeing Pacino’s Michael delve deeper and deeper into this world he never wanted to be a part of is heartbreaking and frustrating. He’s nothing like the father he replaced and though it’s hard to say if the methods employed were truly justified as he essentially rampages his enemies, you always get the sense that he could not have ended up any other way. It’s Shakespearean in the depths of its tragedy.
I’m so glad I finally got to see this film. Honestly I waited to long to see it (even this past month) due to the length of nearly four hours, but it flew by faster than any film I’ve seen in recent memory. This makes the task of watching Part III all the more… unappealing. I hope it lives up to the last two but history tells me that it won’t… 😦