Set in Cleveland during the 1970's, this film from director Jonathan Hensleigh (`The Punisher' series) tells the true -ish story of Danny Greene. He was an impoverished second generation Irish man, but in America the apple never falls far from the tree, so he is still considered to be Irish - hence the title. I am second generation Irish, but feel totally English except that I do better singing when intoxicated (it's in the genes apparently). Any hoo, Danny (Ray Stevenson) is a big man with big ideas and a streak of pride that garners him admiration and the enmity of people in equal measure.
He starts on the docks and soon becomes the spokesman for the Longshoreman; his unofficial role soon becomes bona fide when he unceremoniously ousts the corrupt Union Boss. However, the power soon gets to him, actually before the paint has dried on his new green stairway. His carefree attitude towards other peoples' property soon gains him the attention of the mafia. As per usual everyone wants a split. Danny meanwhile gets busted and has to start all over.
This is a hard and gritty tale that uses some of the news reels from the time and it is amazing how many bombs were detonated around this time, like a microcosm of Beirut. Danny seems to have nine lives and a fear of no-one, it all builds up a head of steam that sees him upsetting one person too many and then all hell kicks off.
This is a well made and acted film that sadly went straight to DVD, well who wants to go to the cinema anyway? Apart from lots of people with their money that is. Besides that this ticks all the boxes, there is a love interest, there are some famous names, like Val Kilmer as the good cop who put his badge first. The nasty crime boss, Shonder Birns played by Christoher Walken and loads of proper unchoreographed action. There is also great period detail with some fantastic old American cars, that all too frequently end up in a failed bid to reach outerspace thanks to the addition of some explosives. There is also Vinny Jones who does for the Irish accent what Dick van Dyke did for Cockneys, but he is quite likeable despite that.
All in all a well made and paced film and at 101 minutes is perfectly timed too, the music is good also; there is so much to like here that if gangster type films is your thing, then it would be churlish not to give it a go - recommended.
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