The Departed (2006)
There was a time when Martin Scorsese always seemed to be one step ahead. As if he was our informant in some of the roughest neighbourhoods in New York. These days, his contemporary films only seem to be lagging two steps behind. The Departed is one such film. A tedious, repetitive and tiring conventional gangster film, perfectly fitted to represent a genre long overexposed that has gone into post-productiveness. Scorsese's direction is economic and tight, but without flair. And the script, by William Monahan, is full of uppish, in-your-face dialogue from arrogant, identical tough guys who deliver their lines at Gilmour Girls-pace, and then solves any conflict by hitting each other. To the film's defence, The Departed is for large periods of time an effective suspense film, and it has some interesting characterological aspects – from all the major leads, but mostly concerning the relations Nicholson/DiCaprio or DiCaprio/Farmiga. The performances are steadily fine, but most of the stars can only do so much with characters that have no sense of self-examination and no idea of how to be happy. Except Alec Baldwin and Mark Wahlberg, nobody in here has any fun. It's just a strenuous experience that ends in the simplest and least subtle manner.