The Godfather: Part II

The Godfather: Part II ★★★★★

Short Review

Added to: Francis Ford Coppola Ranked

A huge improvement on the already solid first chapter of the Godfather saga, The Godfather Part II is in many ways its predecessor and more. The epic scope of the story is broadened immensely through its prequel-sequel scenario, its diversion to multiple spots on the world and its ever-expanding cast of characters. And what lies within that story is just too good to be true. The familial issues reach new heights and get more and more complex as the 3,5 hour film continues and mixes in the unavoidable rise of power of both Vito and Michael Corleone and Michael's eventual downfall through the corruption of this power.

It's cinematography, editing, the music, the whole technical field is top notch in this film. No moment is left untouched to make the grandeur of this family and its half a century old tale explode to your senses. The slow-brooding atmosphere before a shoot-out can be violently disrupted by another grand festival taking place. Patient build-ups with excellent framing and blocking can turn into monstrous climaxed, filled with blood and cursing. Nobody can be trusted and you need a keen eye to keep track of the immense density of the story, but if you do so, you'll be gratefully rewarded with indeed one of the finest films ever made.

It's actually a bit of a shame that I left this film lying around for so long, having only seen it now, many years into my ventures as a cinephile, because I believe that if I saw this as the young prepubescent, Oscar-loving Leo, I would've been a total Godfather-fanboy. Alas... it was not to be like that. Once Upon A Time in America is still better! 😬

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