When I reviewed Kill the Irishman for this blog, I described it as “sturdy” and “reliable,” and indeed it is. It’s a gangster movie in the classic sense of the term: no razzle-dazzle, no flashy set pieces, just a bunch of guys doing amoral things for their territory. Ray Stevenson has a nice, hulking quality as real-life Cleveland mobster Danny Greene, and it’s nice to see Vincent D’Onofrio, Christopher Walken, Val Kilmer, and The Sopranos‘ Steve Schirripa getting decent parts. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but if you like this kind of thing–as I do–then you should find yourself satisfied. Extras include the documentary Danny Greene: The Rise and Fall of the Irishman and a theatrical trailer.
In the summer of 1976, 36 bombs went off in Cleveland. I’d heard this statistic somewhere before; it’s sort of hard not to when you’ve lived within driving distance of the city your whole life. But seeing that statistic placed in context is still pretty startling. As far as I know, Kill the Irishman is the first gangster movie set in Cleveland, and as such, it was pretty weird to watch tough guys from The Sopranos parading across the screen talking about places like Youngstown and Cuyahoga Falls. I kept thinking, “Don’t you mean the Bronx? Or something?”