Director Jonathan Hensleigh re-teams with his Punisher: War Zone star Ray Stevenson for this portrait of Danny Greene, an Irish thug who reshaped organized crime in Cleveland throughout the 1970s. The story is told in the fashion typical of gangster glorification: a hardworking tough guy nobody ascends through the ranks (to the sounds of traditional Irish music) thanks to his street smarts and pride only to sacrifice his family and gloriously fall at the hands of said pride. You’ve seen this type of gangster story a countless number of times before and with many of the same actors: Tony Darrow, Robert Davi, Vinnie Jones, Mike Starr, Steve Schirripa, Paul Sorvino, Christopher Walken; a veritable who’s who of supporting actor heavies delivering the “witty” ethnic slurs common to the genre. Val Kilmer plays a cop who blandly narrates the story with an evident detachment from his role. Stevenson on the other hand gives it his all in a pretty impressive performance that is limited in range, but always fun to watch. With a much needed dose of creativity this film could have been 2011’s Bronson, instead it’s just another entry into a long line of tough guy gangster pics. Enjoy.
Kill the Irishman opens today at the Ritz at the Bourse.