A lean, fun ride that I suspect would reward multiple viewings. I like the cast a lot. The mob boss was very convincing (particularly compared to Jack Nicholson’s lethargic performance in The Departed). 

A few things I disliked: The music throughout is terrible to the point of extreme distraction, like most of the added melodrama. Slow motion! Repeated action moments from different angles! Flashbacks meant to emotionally manipulate me! I found myself missing Scorsese’s lack of sentimentality. I also hated the morality lessons; it’s obvious, why spell it out? (Honestly, over-explaining is a flaw here in general.) Several plot points don’t work as well here, with the shorter running time — too many romantic subplots that don’t justify themselves. 

But I like the ending more than Scorsese’s version. It feels truer to every character involved, and the setup is better. It’ll stick with you more. In a vacuum, this film is fine. In a vacuum, The Departed is also fine. Neither are great, in my opinion, and I am a little sad to see that neither quite stick the landing for me. They are both equally fine.

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