DVD of the Week – Review of Kill the Irishman (2011)
by NIR SHALEV
Danny Greene (Ray Stevenson) is a hard-working Irish-American who lived in Cleveland in the 1970s and started out working in the docks. When the foreman, who has mob connections, abuses his employees too much Danny steps in and physically replaces him. Now Danny is very, very book smart. He hadn’t graduated from high school and had spent time in jail in the past but he’s still rather remarkably intelligent. He prefers to use brains over brawn in order to defeat his opponents, but because he’s a tough Irishman who’s roughly 6’5″ he can easily defend himself with fists of steel.
Danny gets an opportunity to work for the mob and fumbles it because money is supposed to exchange hands but the other side never receives it. They ask Danny to repay the missing amount and he refuses to do so because he’d already given them the money. He’s stern and stands his ground and when the mob puts a hit on him because of his supposed insubordination he tells them, “Come and get me, I’m right here.” He faces television cameras and announces to the mob where he lives.
Kill the Irishman at first replicates Goodfellas (1990) but soon after stops doing so and continues in its appropriate path. It tells a completely different story, filled with tons of car bombs and a war that spanned a decade or so, capturing the essence of mob violence and how insane, tough, and awesome Danny Greene was.
This film is based on a remarkable true story, even the part where Danny tells the mob over the airwaves where he lives. It’s an entertaining film and the production design that replicates the 1970s with terrific hairdos, clothing, and period cars is rather good. This is not a mind-blowing experience or a one of a kind film about a period that we were unaware of but it’s a good entertainment and the performance by Ray Stevenson is outstanding. I hope that he replaces Gerard Butler in everything that he does from now on because Ray Stevenson’s a terrific actor and not just a big guy.
The DVD and Blu-ray come with the theatrical trailer and an hour long feature, “Danny Greene: The Rise and Fall of the Irishman.”
Other new releases this week: Battle: Los Angeles, Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son, Hall Pass, Red Riding Hood