The Godfather is widely revered as one of the greatest movies of all time, taking the top spot on IMDB’s Top 250, #2 on the AFI list, and currently has (near) 100s on both Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic. That all sounds great, until you remember that critics are sellouts, IMDB scores are botted, and Hollywood is a scam run by the liberal media. So I think the real question is, does it hold up in [current year]? (Spoiler alert: No.)
A creepy old Italian man makes everyone around him call him “daddy.”
The movie opens on some guy monologuing. We get a reverse shot of the main character, Vito Corleone, looking bored. Through their conversation, we can deduce three facts about my boi VC:
- He’s from Sicily
- He’s Godfather to literally every child born within a 100 mile radius
- His “job” consists of walking around and mumbling orders to people
Outside, a wedding ceremony is being held for Vito’s daughter, Connie. After some uncomfortable dance scenes and old-school Italian Karaoke, Vito’s son Michael arrives, with girlfriend Kay. Michael, a war veteran, spends half the wedding inconspicuously chilling in the back before eventually talking to his father. Johnny, a famous musician and another one of Vito’s ten million god-children, arrives at the wedding and does a few tunes. He goes to talk to Vito, and informs him that some Hollywood guy won’t agree to give him a movie part. Vito slaps him for being a bitch, before sending his
lawyer Consigliere, Tom, to sort out the situation.
Tom, after arriving in LA, immediately walks onto the set of Woltz Disney pictures, and is able to talk to the head, Woltz (surprisingly not difficult to get a meeting with the director, given that no one actually knows who he is). He asks Woltz to give Johnny the movie part, but is turned away.
In the next scene, Tom is chilling at Woltz’s house. Apparently in the time between being told to fuck off and now, Woltz figured out that Tom represented Vito, warranting him to show some respeck (probably because he’s also Vito’s godchild, honestly). Tom and Woltz eat dinner, and Tom asks him to give Johnny the part. Woltz refuses once again, explaining his reasoning. Apparently there was some hot girl who he had been banging for five years, but after Johnny showed up, she ran away or something? This story doesn’t really make sense, but whatever. Tom leaves.
The next morning, Woltz wakes up with a horse’s head in his bed. This raises some interesting questions. For example, how the fuck did he sleep through that shit? Like, there wasn’t just a horse head lying next to him, dude was actually drenched in blood. That means someone had to come into his room, pour blood all over him, lift the covers, stick the head in, and leave, all without Woltz noticing? How many fucking ambien is this man on? Did they have Lean in the 1940’s? Johnny gets the part.
Back in New York, Vito meets with a gangster named uh… salado? Salad? Joey Salads? Yeah, that’s it. Joey, who’s in the heroin business, tells VC that he wants to to catfish some judges. VC refuses, claiming that “drugs are for thugs,” and he wants no part of it.
Later, when Vito goes out to get some fruit he gets popped. His son, Frodo? Witnesses the event, but accidentally turned his sens too high and can’t hit them.
Meanwhile, Salads has Corleone hitman Luca Brasi murdered, and kidnaps Tom, telling him to get a message to the family. Tom goes to Vito’s other son, Sonny (yes, really), and explains that Salads wants to alter the deal, and to pray he doesn’t alter it further (or something like that, I may have fallen asleep at this point).
Meanwhile, Michael goes to visit his father in the world’s shittiest hospital (literally a dingy hotel with one nurse and a few beds), and is surprised to see that there are no guards. He chills outside, dissuading some potential assassins from finishing Vito off, before the police arrive. The corrupt chief, (I want to say… McCuck?) punches Michael in the face, before sending him on his way.
Michael agrees to meet with Salads and McCuck at some restaurant, with the idea that one of Corleone’s men plants a gun for him there, so he can kill them both. Michael eats dinner with them, before taking the pistol from the bathroom, shooting them multiple times, and leaving.
Michael flees to Sicily, where he lives under the protection of a local Don. One day, he goes into town, and falls in love with a girl after seeing her for all of ten seconds. He goes to her father, tells him his identity, threatens him, and then asks him for his daughter’s hand in marriage (and people say chivalry is dead). After giving her a necklace and awkwardly eating a meal together, the two get married.
Back in America, Sonny greets a pregnant Connie, who now has a black eye. He goes and beats her husband, Carlo, with random objects he finds on the street, before telling him that if he hurts her again he’ll kill him. Later, at their apartment, Carlo tells Connie that he’s going out. She becomes hysterical and begins breaking literally all of their plates. Carlo, mad that they no longer have any dishware, annoyedly tells Connie to clean up her mess. She threatens him with a knife, at which point he starts berating her about her family, and beats her with a belt. She calls Sonny, who immediately storms out of the family compound, with zero backup, and drives off. He stops at a checkpoint, where a bunch of gang guys come out and shoot him like 40 times. (More on this later)
Michael is told that he must return to America immediately. Apparently his brother’s death means that Sicily isn’t safe anymore? But why would America be any safer? Whatever. He prepares to leave with his “wife,” but she dies in a car bomb, presumably meant for him. He doesn’t really react to her death and goes home anyway. Immediately after getting back, Michael finds Kay (who he has not seen in over a year) on a random residential street and
kidnaps courts her. The two get back together immediately.
Vito recovers, and calls up a meeting with all the big mobsters. He explains that he’s willing to do a truce, if it means no one else dies. Everyone seems fine with this. Later, Vito dies in his backyard.
Michael, now in charge, begins trying to move the family out to Nevada. He attempts to buy a few Casinos from Sheldon Adelson, but gets shot down. On the day of Connie’s son’s baptism, Michael has the heads of all the other mafia families killed, along with Sheldon, and an employee of his father’s who had betrayed him. Back at the house, Michael has Carlo killed for apparently betraying the family and double crossing Sonny. Later, Connie confronts him about killing her husband, but he denies it. Some guy calls Michael “Godfather” and the movie ends.
Here’s the thing though. This movie expects me to believe that Carlo started a fight with Connie on purpose, knowing that she would call Sonny, he would leave the compound with no protection, stop at a specific road checkpoint, and then mobsters would gun him down. The fuck kind of 4D chess is this? Like okay, maybe he knew that by beating Connie he could get Sonny to come down to the apartment, but he didn’t do anything until she started fighting with him. Or are we meant to believe that after hitting her, he immediately struck a deal with the other mafia family to save his life? They couldn’t possibly get a squad together that quickly though, right? Whatever, this movie sucks.
Vito: So Vito Corleone was played by arguably one of the greatest actors of all time, Marlon Brando. Marlon famously championed an acting style known as the Stanislavski method, which for this movie meant that he stuffed cottonballs in his mouth to look like a chipmunk. Now that’s dedication.
Michael: Michael’s inner turmoil over the different facets of his identity and his development throughout the movie is probably one of the most well-crafted character arcs in film history. Now I actually respected Michael a lot at the beginning of the movie; I mean he went to college, he’s in the military. Stand up guy. But then I remembered that Mike could’ve just told them he had bone spurs and he would’ve gotten off draft duty. What an idiot.
Tom: Ostensibly the family lawyer, but he doesn’t really do any law stuff. He kind of just tells Vito not to do things and walks out of rooms to maintain plausible deniability. I guess he carries a briefcase around, so that’s pretty cool?
Literally every female character: Hot take— I don’t think The Godfather treated its female characters very well. I mean, all of them kind of just exist to act as motivations for the male characters? Connie’s entire role is to get Sonny killed. Appolonia’s only in the movie so Michael doesn’t die. Kay’s basically there so that in the next movie, Michael can slap her for aborting their child (spoilers btw). I feel like all the women were pretty interchangeable. Like any of them could be in another’s’ role, and the movie would’ve been exactly the same for it. Now granted, the movie was set in the 1940’s, but I’m putting this one on Francis.
This movie has enough subtitles that it gets annoying, but not enough for me to feel good about watching a foreign film.
This movie’s tone is a complete mess. One minute you have a happy, upbeat wedding scene, and the next some guy’s getting choked to death. It made it feel like I was watching TWO movies in ONE movie. That’s two too many!
Listen Coppola, I’m onto you. You’re not artsy just because you shoot on film. It doesn’t even look good. Everything’s grainy as fuck; Just shoot on digital like the rest of us, you bonobo. And the entire movie has this shitty sepia filter over it to give it that “aged” look. Tryhard much?
Also, the lighting in this movie is awful. There’s one scene in a restaurant where everything’s backlit by a single bulb. Like really? We get it, you’re “low budget,” and “indie,” but that doesn’t mean you get to shoot everything in the dark. Besides, I find it hard to believe that you had the money for two wedding scenes, but not real lighting. Fresnels aren’t even that expensive.
And don’t even get me started on the editing. Every goddamn scene transition is a dissolve. You have like 50 options in premiere bro, you didn’t have to use the same one over and over again.
This movie’s score is so boring. It’s all violins, mandolins, pianos, and trumpets. Where were the electric instruments? Where were the clanging noises? Where were the !!!!!? I mean it figures that they couldn’t get Hans Zimmer to sign on for such a trash movie, but they could’ve at least gotten someone like him. But nope, had to get the classical composer. Go back to making your damn operas, Nino.
Look, all I’m saying is, if The Godfather was so great, where’s the Godfather Cinematic Universe? Get on it, Disney.
Good for: Bitcoin
Bad for: My credibility as a film critic (not that I had any to begin with)
Bod R8s: 2:57:10/8