Scorsese directs a violent update of the well-known Chinese mob film, INFERNAL AFFAIRS, from just four years prior. Set in Boston, Massachusetts, the story tells of a mob boss named Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson) who sends out a criminal, Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon). Simultaneously, the local police have sent out Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) to infiltrate Costello's mob.
Recently, I saw a few Best Picture winners, namely TERMS OF ENDEARMENT, that I thought were acceptable, but not good enough to win the most anticipated Academy Award. I feared, therefore, that it would be the same case with THE DEPARTED. How wrong I was! This film started off a little slow (the actual title didn't show for almost twenty minutes), but by the thirty-minute mark, it was absolutely deserving of four stars. (And I would do anything to see another crime film like this!)
I've heard from a few websites now that The Departed 2 is being made. Really? By the way this film ended, there's no way a sequel would work, unless it ties in to its predecessor in no way. (Which technically means it won't work, so I rest my case.) Don't get me wrong, I loved THE DEPARTED; the fact, though, that a sequel should be made is absolutely inconceivable.
The cast for this film was simply phenomenal. Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Alec Baldwin. Great performances, too, are delivered from these actors, observing that casts typically don't work out so well when they are studded with stars.
Before this, the only Martin Scorsese film I had seen was SHINE A LIGHT, his Rolling Stones documentary. Seeing one of his true pictures was astounding, to say the least.
The musical soundtrack in this film was often hard to recognize, but nevertheless well-done. There were only a few songs that I could name, which were The Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter"; Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb"; and Dropkick Murphys' "I'm Shipping Up to Boston", which I first heard on this film's SIMPSONS parody; but as there was little musical score, the music supported almost every single scene.
Overall, THE DEPARTED was very enjoyable. Every moment was exciting, thrilling, and intriguing; and even at two and a half hours, it never runs overlong.