The Godfather: Part II

The Godfather: Part II ★★★★★

The Godfather: Part II works to cement the themes and concerns of its predecessor, and telescoping the story of the Corleone family in each direction makes the first film even stronger in retrospect. Reverberations of the first film begin to appear immediately, with the opening taking place during a lavish family celebration, the patriarch presiding over business affairs, and continues with loyalties tested and retributions made over a very detailed and specific series of events.

Like his father, Michael begins to possess an almost uncanny ability to, with poise and foresight, execute the correct course of action to respond to a certain stimulus. Through flashbacks we see how he's inherited an entrepreneurial spirit from his father, and indeed from a country shaped by that same spirit. Inevitably, the family's interests become more legitimate as they grow in ambition, but the corruption and moral suicide become exponentially greater. The more power Michael gains, the more ruthless he must become; he can't escape the cycle of ambition and corruption established in the first film.

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