I’m really trying to like “The Godfather” films. I mean, two of them are at the top of ImdB and they all have scooped heaps of awards (perhaps not so much the third one). But I just don’t get what the fuss is all about.

On top of it all, if you didn’t already think that number 1 lasted long enough, the sequel is even worse, dragging on for a whole 15-20 minutes. Now was that really necessary?

Perched snugly in the top 5 of the ImdB top 250, and scooping in a significantly higher number of Oscars than its predecessor, people seem to think “The Godfather Part II” is genius. I’m here to tell you it’s not!

Michael Corleone has now become The Godfather

Michael Corleone has now become The Godfather

***NO SPOILERS***

What is this film?

The Godfather Part II (1974) is the second instalment of the trilogy about the italian mafia family Corleone. Michael, the guy who didn’t really want to join the illegalities of his family in the first movie (aka the guy played by Al Pacino) is now the head of the family.

We also follow Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando in “The Godfather“, Robert De Niro in this one) and find out how he gets from Sicily and becomes the most feared and respected mobster in New York.

 

Why do people think it’s good?

I think people fell in love with the Corleone family, so when you give them some more insight into that family and the life of the mafia, of course they will love it.

This is pretty much the reason why we are wading around in sequel after sequel and remake after reboot.

Once people love some characters, they will come back for more.

Throw story and quality right out the window.

 

Do I think it is anything against The Godfather?

The biggest problem I have with “The Godfather Part II” is that it’s not one movie, it’s two. Basically you have your standard sequel and the prequel smashed haphazardly into one.

I’m not saying this couldn’t work, it really could work brilliantly. The issue is that the stories are 100% separate. They don’t inform one another or dramatically play off each other. For instance, I don’t need to know anything from Vito Corleone’s past to understand Michael’s current predicament.

And I find that weird.

It’s like they wanted to make a sequel, but was afraid of not having Vito Corleone in it because audience surveys had shown that he was the most beloved character.

So, apart from the fact that it has some of the same good qualities that “The Godfather” had, like a consistent tone and visual style, the story in the sequel is not as compelling and suffers greatly by jumping back and forth in time seemingly without purpose.

(By the way, if any of you has seen some purpose in this crosscutting, please enlighten me!)

 

Is this movie historically significant?

It was the first sequel to win an Academy Award for Best Picture. The only other sequel to win is “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” (although technically “Silence of the Lambs” as a sequel although no one knows about that one).

Another Academy Award fun fact is that the character Vito Corleone is the only character to have won an Oscar twice played by two separate actors.

And as always, Godfather movies are significant for their many, quotable lines. This one has brought us:

“Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer”

and

“If history has taught us anything, is that you can kill anyone”

“The Godfather Part II” is also one of the first numbered sequels and definitely the first US release to sport numbers. Those were the days.

 

Does it stand the test of time?

I’m a bit bias because I am not particularly fond of the 70s look, and although there are some great movies from the 70s, I generally am left unvowed by the drab colours and the wishy washy, unsharp and washed out visual style.

I’m a fan of contrast and bold colours.

And I’ll give “The Godfather” trilogy that, it does have more contrast than other 70s movies, and thus is visually a little more appealing.

But then the long, boring takes start stacking up and my attention span just wanders to a corner of the room and bangs its head against the wall. I get ADHA from watching stuff like this.

I bet you could easily cut this movie down 20 minutes just by removing some seconds at the beginning and end of each shot.

So, no, I do not think “The Godfather Part II” stands the test of time.

To be quite honest, I don’t understand why it is at the top of Imdb Top 250 list at all!

 

What mood should you be in?

You should be patient. That is all you need to be.

 

Further Watching

There are loads of mafia- or gangster movies out there worth a watch. As a person who don’t instantly fall head over heals when it’s a mafia film (I love musicals…we are all different) I can recommend these gangster movies that I actually find entertaining:

  • “Usual Suspects” (1995) Bryan Singer (the one with Kevin Spacey and you shouldn’t know anymore before you watch it)
  • “Reservoir Dogs” (1992) Quentin Tarantino (the one that made it all cool again)
  • “Snatch” (2000) Guy Ritchie (nothing like some epic British humour with loads of violence…and Brad Pitt without a shirt on)

 

Subscribe and get a notification for my next blog post. Next week, I will get my ass to the cinema and watch a new release so I can tell you whether or not it is worth the money to go 😉

 

Robert DeNiro as the young Vito Corleone

Robert DeNiro as the young Vito Corleone

 

Who am I?

I do not work for ImDb, I just have a nerdy need to make sure I watch all the movies people claim to be good. In this way I can make up my own mind about whether or not they are a hype. This is not a per se recommendation from the ImDb Top 250 list, but rather a statement about the movies on it that hopefully will make you want to watch the movies again, or watch the movie and make up a mind of your own 😉

Or avoid it a movie like the plague.

 

Why do I think I can talk about movies?

With an over average interest in movies since watching Star Wars as a 8 year-old, and with some background in the industry, I know at least a little bit about what it takes to get a movie made, and have loads of opinions about what makes them great.

But no matter my merits, it is whether or not you agree with my taste in movies (or my boyfriend’s, whose opinion will be noted if opposing my own) that will make these reviews beneficial to you.

 

Where can you find the film?

They actually have all three in the Godfather trilogy on Netflix. But if you are like everyone else, that is you love these movies, you might as well just buy them. They come fairly cheap in Blu-Ray collections these days.

Once a month I will review the top 250 movies on ImDb and determine whether they still deserve to be on the list or not. Have they stood the test of time, or are they just there out of habit or historical significance (which does not a good movie make). I start from the top because there is less change in the top films than at the bottom of the list.

Look here for my judgements on #1 on top 250 ImDb “Shawshank Redemption” and #2 The Godfather.

Other Fridays of the month, I will look at “New Releases – is it worth a cinema ticket”, “Guilty Pleasures” and I will also be “Unearthing the Best Movies on Netflix”.

 

I have used several sources in writing this post among them ImDb trivia and some film history and art books in my possession.

Sign up with your email and get a notification next week so that you don’t miss the next blog post or my next ImDb top 250 review. Next month we will have a look at “The Dark Knight”!

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