Donnie Brasco Reviews
There seems too little space left to work on in a genre that is introduced so many times even repeated too and still even though being of a familiar premise it has some new shoes to fill into it which eventually results into low on drama or even entertainment. Donnie Brasco is an overlong stretched script that is predictable and flat out exhausting in its first act only to discover that the rest of it was just mundane. Mike Newell picks out his favourite details and sequences from the book and executes it with all the conviction but in the end there just isn't enough material to keep the audience investing in it. The only part that got it right was the star cast and boy oh boy what a star cast it is, Johnny Depp and Al Pacino face to face on screen encounters are the only highlights about it. But how much can a performance carry around a movie on its shoulder, Donnie Brasco lacks better editing, gripping screenplay and a soul.
Stylistically, it makes sense. It's a perfect way to capture the ruggedness of the steel girders, the grandeur of the East River, and the magnificence of the city's world-renowned skyline off in the distance, all in a single sequence.
However, one must also consider that the bridges serve a more symbolic purpose. Donnie--an undercover FBI agent--successfully infiltrates the Bonanno crime family, and in doing so slowly transitions from an upstanding G-man into a gangster. Thus the bridges are also used as a metaphor--a way to physically manifest his crossing over from good to bad.
'Donnie Brasco' does so many of the big things right, not least of all Al Pacino's extraordinary performance. But it's the little things that make the film endlessly re-watchable, and I'm happy to have discovered another detail that can be added to the list.