When it comes to classic movies and timeless cinema, very few movies compare to Scarface. We can easily talk about Al Pacino’s acting but that is not the highlight here…there are many highs (and a few lows) that make this movie exactly what we want and need. Here is the good, the bad and the final take.
The most obvious is Al Pacino’s acting, yes the accent is cringe but the man puts up such a strong performance we look beyond the fake Cuban voice. Pacino displays a man that is ambitious and greedy, moral and savage, cruel but generous. The sound track of this movie was a massive highlight because it set the tone especially whenever Tony would do something evil or when an action sequence was about to happen. At times the plot is predictable but that doesn’t make a massive difference because the way director Brian De Palma uses Miami and the 80s as a driver of the narrative makes it refreshing. Yes this ain’t a 2021 movie and that’s good because it isn’t a recycled comic book super hero film…no it is an original story about a gangstas life from the bottom to the top. In some ways it is a story about the American Dream…or the Refugee dream from nothing to something. Some may even qualify it as a Shakespearean tragedy, either way you flip it…this movie is influential and leaves you entertained.
At times the other actors in this movie are steps below Pacino, specifically Steven Bauer as Manny Ray who delivered a weak performance until the 3rd act. At times the violence is excessive but it does have an impact and moves the plot forward. Yes Tony Montana is the protagonist but he almost has cartoonish invisibility and that takes away from the authentic vibe of the film.
The Final Take
Just go watch this movie…you don’t need this blog to convince you. Scarface changed the way we watch gangsta movies and created the ultimate anti-hero…Tony Montana. There’s a reason he is one of the most iconic characters of all time…because he is in one of the greatest movies of all time.