The Departed [2] (2006)

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Review #302 of 365
Film: The Departed (2006) [R] 149 minutes
WIP™ Scale: (1st viewing $14.25 + 2nd viewing $13.75) / 2 = $14.00
Where Viewed: Colorado Cinemas Cherry Creek 8, Denver, CO
When 2nd Seen: 9 November 2006
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Film's Official Website
DVD Release Date: unscheduled

Directed by: Martin Scorsese (The Aviator)
Screenplay by: William Monahan (Kingdom of Heaven), Siu Fai Mak(Mou gaan dou aka Infernal Affairs) & Felix Chong (Mou gaan dou aka Infernal Affairs)

Featured Cast (Where You Might Remember Him/Her From):
Leonardo DiCaprio (The Aviator) • Matt Damon (Syriana) • Jack Nicholson (The Shining) • Mark Wahlberg (Invincible) • Martin Sheen ("The West Wing") • Ray Winstone (The Proposition) • Vera Farmiga (Running Scared) • Alec Baldwin (Running with Scissors)

Soundtrack and Score: order the CDs below

Click for 'Review Lite' [a 150-word or less review of this film]
FOR A REVIEW WITHOUT SPOILERS PLEASE SEE's first review of The Departed by clicking here.

"When I was your age they would say you can become cops or criminals. What I'm saying is that when you're facing a loaded gun, what's the difference?"—Frank Costello
And thus is the essence of Jack Nicholson's character, Frank Costello. In this second review for The Departed, the emphasis on the review will veer off the traditional analysis as can be afforded when taking a second look at a film some time after letting the original viewing settle. Moreover, the freedom to spoil the plot is granted as though readers who do not wish to have the plot spoiled have the option of skipping this review and reading just the first review.

The first question, obviously, is does the film hold up to a second viewing. The answer is a qualified 'yes'. As this is not a film with a grand twist, the viewer is in on the gig from the beginning, the mystery is only in waiting to find out who will survive the dangerous cat and mouse or, more apropos, rat vs. mole game. Once you know that nobody except Mark Wahlberg's character, Sgt. Dignam survives the ordeal, the mystery is gone and with it a bit of the movie's thrill. The sort of minor twists that actually Officer Barrigan (James Badge Dale) is also a Costello mole in the Special Police Unit, and that Costello's man, Delahunt (Mark Rolston) is really an undercover cop, do provide a tiny bit of fun as one tries to look for clues that they were not whom you thought them to be the first time around. Other than this, though, a second viewing also does not reveal many hidden gems that one might not notice the first time around. One thing that stands out glaringly in the second view is the lack of likelihood in reality that Leonardo DiCaprio's character, undercover cop Billy Costigan, would end up coincidentally meeting, let alone falling for and probably impregnating, the same woman, Madolyn (Vera Farmiga), as Matt Damon's character, Special State Detective Colin Sullivan—not in a huge city like Boston. And, it seems, that this contrived love triangle was a relatively simple way to compare and contrast the true colors of the two men. The second view allows for more intense attention to be paid to the development of Costigan as undercover cop and Sullivan as undercover criminal. Worst of all, however, is that a second view forces again a realization as to the pure evil of Sullivan yet, also, a more stark revelation that the source of his dark heart is not really clear. He was raised by his grandmother in a life of obvious poverty after the apparent death of his parents and by Frank who takes him under his wing at a young age giving him money, a job, and his philosophy as he grows up. Clearly from the moment the two engage in conversation in the corner store, Costello intends to groom the boy to eventually rise and serve him. But what accounts for his eventual emergence as this mastermind criminal capable of killing in cold blood anyone who would stand in the way of his goals? This is an area of the story that could have benefited from a bit more thought. Not so for Costigan, as much is revealed about why he is the way he is throughout. Candidly, this lack of detail in the evolution of Connor Sullivan is a bit of a flaw in the script. So, again, the answer to the question as to whether the film holds up to a second viewing is a qualified 'yes'. It's not a good in some ways, Madolyn's relationships seem more contrived, and the missing details in Connor's background are more pronounced and inexplicable. One thing that is even better the second time around is Mark Wahlberg's portrayal of Sgt. Dignam. I'd seriously love an HBO® series featuring just his character.

Related Products from
Other Projects Featuring The Departed (2006) Cast Members
Leonardo DiCaprioMatt DamonJack Nicholson
Mark WahlbergMartin SheenRay Winstone
Vera FarmigaAlec Baldwin
Other Projects Involving The Departed (2006) Director
Martin Scorsese
Other Projects Involving The Departed (2006) Writer
William Monahan
Other Projects Involving The Departed (2006) Musical Composer
Howard Shore
CD Soundtrack
CD Score
Related DVD

The Departed (2006) Review-lite [150-word cap]
It's only the beginning of October, and what a way to jump-start both the Academy Award® buzz list and the fall movie season than with Martin Scorsese's star-struck The Departed--a remake of 2002's Hong Kong crime lord vs. vice cop thriller Infernal Affairs? Irish Crime boss, Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson) plants pseudo-son Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) deeply into the detective's unit of the Massachusetts State Police. Meanwhile, state police undercover bosses, Capt. Queenan (Martin Sheen) and Sgt. Dignam (Mark Wahlberg) embed tormented rookie cop turned faux criminal Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) deeply into Costello's crew. It's only a matter of time before each organization figures out that these moles exist, learning their identities, on the other hand, will become the game. The film is action-packed and gripping with superb acting. The Departed is very nearly a masterpiece as one would expect from one of the most legendary of Hollywood directors.

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