CALL ME AN EASY MARK, but I love a good gangster movie. Hell, I'll take a mediocre gangster movie even, as long as it has plenty of guns and swearing and terrible clothes. Kill the Irishman, a true-story biopic of a Cleveland mobster who went head-to-head with the Italian mafia during the '70s, should be right up my alley: It's got guns! Racial slurs galore! Ratty leather jackets, and shirt collars the size of airplane wings! A car blows up every three minutes! And there are boobs, courtesy of that California girl from the episode of Mad Men where Don Draper goes to Palm Springs!
Why, then, is Kill the Irishman not the greatest movie ever made? Because somehow the filmmakers have taken these tried-and-true mob-movie clichés and made them boring as hell. We don't care about Danny Greene (Ray Stevenson), the Irishman who evades hit after hit from the Italian mob. We don't care about the intricacies of Cleveland labor unions. We don't care that Christopher Walken and Val Kilmer show up in tiny, forgettable supporting roles. Director Jonathan Hensleigh intercuts news footage from the era, all of which is more interesting than the actual movie. Maybe a documentary would have been the way to go.