‘The Departed’ is set in South Boston, where the state police force is waging war on organized crime. Young undercover cop Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) is assigned to infiltrate the mob syndicate run by gangland chief Costello (Jack Nicholson). While Billy is quickly gaining Costello’s confidence, Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon), a hardened young criminal who has infiltrated the police department.
I heard a lot of people saying this movie wasn’t that good and that the original (Infernal Affairs) was much better, so I wasn’t expecting much when I watched it finally.
Suffice to say I pleasantly surprised to find it was a truly excellent movie.
IMDB backs this up, as the movie has gone virtually straight in at the number 76 spot of the best 250 movies of all time.
I have watched both Infernal Affairs I and II but haven’t yet watched III (apparently ties up some lose ends).
Some people say the time transitions in The Departed aren’t very smooth and somewhat confusing, but I have to say it left me a hell of a lot less confused than Infernal Affairs did.
I mean what’s the nonsense with changing actors completely when the character gets 5 years older? It totally threw me off!
Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio played their respective roles excellently, battling against each other through-out the movie.
I’m glad to see Leonardo DiCaprio getting some good roles again, he’s been making a comeback since Catch me if you can and The Aviator. I also knew he was a good actor since I saw What’s eating Gilbert Grape.
I thought Jack Nicholson was also excellent as the mob boss Costello, he plays that certain kind of sociopath psycho very well, a lot of people complained it was a bad choice and compared to Eric Tsang..But remember this movie has been changed and a lot of the Asian cultural references had to be removed as they wouldn’t be understood, nor be relevant.
The cinematography and direction was of course excellent as expected by Martin Scorsese.
The irony of the whole storyline will of course be familiar if you’ve seen Infernal Affairs and this movie does delivery it all, it’s hard hitting and gripping.
If you haven’t watched it, I recommend it.
If you think Infernal Affairs is better…I disagree, in some ways Infernal Affairs is better..but in more ways it’s not.
So The Departed wins.
I give it a gripping 9/10, one of the best movies of 2006.