Kill the Irishman is one of those phenomenal crime movies based on true events you never heard of. It feels very honest and gritty, perhaps because of the smaller budget. I can only imagine what kind of a movie this would be with a couple million more. Still, don’t think that this is some cheap mafia affair. First of all, the cast is quite formidable led by charismatic Ray Stevenson. I fell in love with the man when I first saw him in Rome and ever since then he didn’t stop making good movies.
And he’s fucking Irish, so he was the perfect choice to play Danny Greene, another Irishman. Only this one caused a lot of trouble for the mafia back in his day. Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention the rest of the cast. We’ve got Christopher Walken, Vincent D’Onofrio, Val Kilmer and Vinnie motherfucking Jones! And I’m sure you’re going to recognize most of the supporting cast. I loved the mixing of actual footage of that time with movie footage. It added a sense of authenticity to the story and helped immensely with the immersion.
Although this is technically a crime movie it’s also a biopic about one peculiar individual. And unlike other biopics this one is really fast-paced! I know that a lot of people are going to compare this movie with Goodfellas or other Scorcese movies. And while they are a bit similar, I think that Kill the Irishman offers a much different approach to storytelling. There’s no bullshit, no excess character development just the juicy bits of the story. And while some might not like that, I truly enjoyed this change. It made the movie much easier to watch and it felt more honest.
Danny Green is an Irish mobster. That’s about it. This movie tells the story of his humble beginnings and his rise to power. Combining an Irish heritage and unscrupulous thug mentality he stirred up the crime ladder in Cleveland in the seventies. Maybe part of his appeal was a different set of values than a usual mobster had at that time. He was bold, pretentious, and quite ferocious. Starting out with a regular job at the docks he will soon find himself involved in more and more illegal activities.
Set in the seventies, Kill the Irishman is also a period movie. We can learn more about how life was back then. And while for some this might seem boring for others it might be an eye-opening experience. On top of it all, Danny’s life is just so fucking crazy that you practically don’t need anything else to make this movie interesting. If you want to see more of Ray Stevenson, I recommend you check out Outpost and Punisher: War Zone.
Director: Jonathan Hensleigh
Cast: Ray Stevenson, Vincent D’Onofrio, Val Kilmer, Christopher Walken, Linda Cardellini, Robert Davi, Vinnie Jones
Fun Facts: Val Kilmer joined the production after he turned down the opportunity to run for governor of his home state of New Mexico.