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The Problems with The Departed

Written by: Rob Van Winkle, CC2K Staff Writer

ImageMy sister and her husband talked me out of seeing The Departed  until it was on video.  They'd seen it when it first opened and thought it was way too cliche'.  Too much of Scorsese posturing for an Oscar from the academy, etc.  As luck would have it, one of the DVD's that arrived for her husband to screen -he's on the nominating commitee for S.A.G.- was The Departed.  I sat down and popped it in.  They say food always tastes better when you don't pay for it, and I'm not sure if it was the fact that I didn't pay to see the movie, but I loved it.  Kept me riveted until the end, which is rare.  Most of the stuff Hollywood churns out these days is such shite that I would've been thankful for an hour of decent suspense, even if the second half was crap.  It wasn't.  Although I wasn't crazy about the ending, ya gotta give Scorsese credit for doing it. 


As much as I liked it, the film has two major flaws; one you might've thought of yourself and one I'd be very surprised if you thought of, as I'm a genius.  lol.

Those of you who haven't seen it yet might want to stop reading here.


Major flaw #1:  Nicholson's supposed to be a gangster with almost six decades in organized crime, and he's really not sure if the new guy in his crew, who happens to be an ex-cop, is the rat?  C'mon. 


Major flaw #2:  Even if you go with the flow, as I did on this one, flaw #2, once you think about it, makes you realize that Scorsese himself might not've caught it.  For if he did, it was left in anyway, as the story could not have developed the way it did without it.


Nicholson's character arranges to meet Damon's character in a porno theatre and DiCaprio follows Damon to the meeting.  While Damon and Nicholson discuss their business in the dark theatre, DiCaprio's receiving text messages from Martin Sheen's character, telling him to ID the suspect, make arrest, etc.

The text messages that come through on Leo's phone come through in silent mode with vibration. 

Two seconds later, Damon leaves the theatre and DiCaprio follows him into an alley where Sheen texts him again.  Suddenly, DiCaprio's phone beeps loudly when the text comes through, and Damon hears it and realizes he's being followed.  Leo's phone vibrates for five texts in the theatre and one minute later, outside, it rings?  If they wanted us to believe that scene, they should've at least done a close-up of Leo taking his phone off silent mode, but why would he if he's still trying to pursue the suspect?  Only rationale for this is they need the phone to ring so Damon can jump behind the truck and realize Leo's onto him.  If Leo's phone doesn't beep, Leo arrests Damon right there. 


In any case, aside from those two flaws, The Departed has more than enough in it- especially with a great cast like DiCaprio, Damon, Nicholson, Sheen, Wahlberg, and Alec Baldwin, who are all excellent, to keep you entertained from start to finish.


I give it four of five "Brando's" on the "suck-o-meter."


Author: Rob Van Winkle, CC2K Staff Writer

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