If Carlito’s Way was an automobile, it would be an Oldsmobile 442. A hardcore, edge-of-your-seat ride which no-one knows about; always in the shadow of its mainstream counterpart (the Mustang and Heat (1995) respectively). Despite being a nose-picking, bum-numbing 138 mins the picture delivers an intelligent, well-delivered portrayal of the Big Apple’s 1970’s underworld.
With more twists than a gimp’s nipple, the film tells the story of Carlito ‘Charlie’ Brigante’s ploy to become clean after a five-year stint behind bars. In debt to the lawyer who saw his sentence reduced, the main theme focusses on Carlito’s loyalty to his on-edge, on-drugs brief. Staying on a straight but VERY narrow path, Carlito attempts to escape his past life, despite staying true to his old-skool morals.
With more drink consumed than Oliver Reed on a chat show and more drugs than a night out at a hippy festival, this well acted bundle of joy is more in-your-face than an eye-watering egg fart in a packed lift.
While watching this gem I briefly tried to figure out where Carlito resides, before settling for a hard drink over ice instead. By the end, this film left me with mixed emotions, reaching for the rest of the bottle, satisfied.
Performance of the film – Al Pacino completely overshadows Penn with a brilliant display of tension-building facial expressions.
Quote of the film – Viggo Mortensen “Go ahead and kill me, you c********r.”
Fact of the film – This is the second epic Brian De Palma shootout in an inner-city train station.
Score/Soundtrack – Contemporary soundtrack perfect for the context of this film. The score emerges strongest during action scenes, peaking late on during the final chase.
Carlito’s Way is a hidden classic; watch it. 87/100
(Last watched 2 hours ago. Review by Mr Holly and Fuzzy.)