This is the third Brian de Palma film in a row for this month, and it seems they've been decreasing in my favor as they went. I loved The Untouchables. Scarface was alright, though overrated. And then there's Carlito's Way. The film follows Carlito (Al Pacino), a man who has recently gotten out of jail thanks to some info that his lawyer, David (Sean Penn), found about his arrest. But instead of getting into trouble again, Carlito wants to keep clean and go straight. But with people like Benny (John Leguizamo), Pachanga (Luis Guzman), and Lalin (Viggo Mortensen), he finds it harder and harder to keep out of things.
I'm probably going to get some flak for this, but I really did not care for this film. Everything just felt... wrong. Let me try to explain what I mean. It almost seemed as if this film was a joke. The overall tone I took from the film was... goofy. The acting, the music, the costuming and characters... it just felt silly. Don't even get me started on that horrid voice-over narration.
The acting was painful, at least to me. Sean Penn was good, I suppose, but Pacino drove me crazy. His accent was bizarre, and the way he delivered his lines was just strange. I know I'm sounding repetitive, but that's the best way I can describe it. And then there was Viggo Mortensen. It wasn't until halfway through his scene that I even realized it was him... he was so unrecognizable. And it was that scene when I first realized how ridiculously goofy the movie was.
As for the music... I suppose the songs themselves were good, but their use was more cheesy than anything. The best example of this is a love scene between Pacino and the main female... set to Joe Cocker's "You Are So Beautiful." I'm not kidding. It was so painfully bad. I couldn't stop thinking about how much of a joke everything seemed.
If I were to give a compliment to this film, I'd say the last 15-20 minutes. The climax of the film is tense and nicely done. And the whole scene on the escalator (what is it with de Palma and escalators?) was fantastic. But otherwise, the movie was, again, goofy and came off like a joke. The voice-over was bad, something about Pacino was off, the use of music was cheesy... and, yes, the movie was too long for what it was. Needless to say, it wasn't one of my favorites. There were some things in it I liked, and I didn't hate it or anything. It was just... not for me.