Top positive review
27 people found this helpful
Masterpeice of modern cinema; dark, glamorous and thrilling
on 25 August 2005
It must be annoying for Martin Scorsese when people call Casino Goodfellas Part 2 and understandably so; Casino, though featuring both Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci, is completely a film of its own. Goodfellas was a study of the middle class gangsters of New York; Casino is about the middle class making it big. It is a far more ambitious film than Goodfellas, strangely more civilised and tamed because of the glamorous setting of Las Vegas, which is revealed to be so hollow and controlled by a group of corrupt old men.
Casino tells the story of Sam 'Ace' Rothstein (De Niro), a Jewish casino manager in 1970s Las Vegas. It revolves around the system of the casinos and how ultimately you lose more money than you gain, but also his relationship with his childhood friend, Nicky Santoro (Joe Pesci) and his wife, Ginger McKenna (Sharon Stone). It flows so beautifully, describing in rich detail through the voiceovers of De Niro and Pesci how the casino works. Casino is such a classy film, each shot packed with glamour and the plot fueled by a great soundtrack and sharp dialogue. There are so many memorable moments and essentially it serves so much less as a biopic than Goodfellas.
The acting is first rate - De Niro shines in all 180 minutes, playing a flawed and possessive man, but one who is weighed down by his loyalities to friends. Joe Pesci is on top form as the reckless Nicky Santoro, a mob boss. His performance is similar to that of Goodfellas, but there is something more classy and swish about it. Sharon Stone would steal the show if it wasn't for De Niro and Pesci, as her performance is one of perfection. You will not know whether to pity, hate, or love her character. This is what makes Casino so great. The characters are so complex and human, they are totally believable and you will be ever curious of their ultimate fates.
This really is Martin Scorsese's finest work of the 90s. If you were to compare it to Goodfellas, you would call Goodfellas perfected, as it takes everything in Goodfellas to the next level, whether it be the charisma of its characters, the violence, the dialogue, or the cinematography. This character driven story will get better each time you watch it and flows like a river, every scene a classic in its own way.
If you are a fan of Martin Scorsese, then Casino is a must have. Even if you're not a fan, Casino is by all means worth watching and an instant classic in the crime/thriller/drama genre.