With the release of a recent YouTube video purporting to show pre-teens acting out Scarface for an elementary school play, I thought: 1) Western civilisation has come to an end, and 2) I need to re-watch the original movie. Beloved by rappers; reviled by interior decorators, Scarface has transcended its 80s-era Miami-eyesore roots to become a cultural phenomenon. This, despite the fact its hero is an incestuous psychopath with a fondness for gold medallions. Why do people love Scarface so? Is it the miasma of bad taste? Pacino’s sneer? The fact almost every major Latino character is played by an Italian? Loving Scarface is like revering polyester.
What a hoary load of bullshit this movie is. Are movies like this made to keep old actors busy? Is this the movie equivalent of an allotment or Neighbourhood Watch scheme? It’s easier to picture it that way; some feelings of sympathy might even arise in me if I could see this as two old men pottering about, amusing themselves. Maybe if they’d both stop dyeing their hair I might even be tempted not to stick the boot in. But Righteous Kill is a noxious, ego-fuelled, cliché-ridden, misogynist fire-hazard of a movie, and Bob De Niro and his little buddy Al should be ashamed of themselves. From Taxi Driver and Serpico to this in three decades takes some (un)doing.