Bob Hoskins and Helen Mirren star in "The Long Good Friday," a violent, powerful and sometimes funny gangster film. The computer effects are amazing as both actors look great… wait, the movie is 25 years old?
"The Long Good Friday" is now out in a new "Explosive Special Edition" DVD, which basically means it's an ordinary DVD with yet another shameless attempt by the company's marketing department to make it sound more special than it actually is. In reality, the film looks great for its age and it does boast a few special features - a making-of featurette and an audio commentary - but otherwise has nothing to offer fans who already own the movie.
Hoskins stars as ruthless gangster Harold Shand, the powerful boss of the London underground. On the very day that he is going to strike up a huge deal with an American crime family, bombs start going off all over the place, threatening the deal and his empire.
This is one of those films that is seemingly a classic, and for good reason, but one that I had never heard of before. The plot is simple, but that's okay. The pacing is terrific, and the movie blends drama, suspense, mystery and violence, with blotches of comedy, perfectly.
It finishes a bit abruptly, but Hoskins performance alone makes the movie worth the watch. Despite his knack for viciousness, he makes his character the protagonist and a likeable one at that, not unlike Tony Soprano.
"The Long Good Friday" holds its own 25 years later, and is well worth a watch if you're interested in gangster movies.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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