yondu4’s review published on Letterboxd:
Before I start talking about this masterpiece,I want to ask you guys a question.How do you feel about Michael Corleone?How did you feel about him in the first film and did those feelings change in the second film?Do you find him relatable or disguting?Personally I really liked him in the first Godfather and thought he had the power in him to change.
At last after years of anticipation and having expectations even higher than I had for the original Godfather,I finally have the "Greatest Sequel of all time".So What did I think?It was fucking perfect..
The Godfather Part 2 does everything a proper sequel should do and then some.And Then Some More!What i didn't know going in is that it is split into two main storylines one acting as a sequel to the original following Michael Corleone as he loses every bit of humanity he once had in him and one acting as a prequel to the original showing us how Vito Corleone became the greatest gangster of all time.
Of the two parts I definetely prefer the sequel one although the prequel part is as masterful as they can get too.Filling the shoes of a great actor is extremely difficult but having to play a young Marlon Brando is damn near impossible.Then again never say never when it comes to De Niro.De Niro truly shows his insane acting skills as he not only makes it believable that he plays a young Vito Corleone but also thanks to a phenomenal script builts upon the character and makes Brando's version seem even Greater than before.Exactly what the Star wars prequels failed to do to Darth Vader so epicly.
So when De Niro pulls off the impossible,it surely must be the best performance of the film right?WRONG!Cause Al Pacino goes out of his way and brings a performance that is equal to Marlon Brando's.A perfect deconstruction of a character,seeing Michael go through all these changes and slowly lose everyone around him as well as himself was extraordinary to say the least.Much like Humphrey bogart in the treasure of the sierra mandre,Al Pacino changes with his character.As much as he tries to live by his father's advise he ultimately fails and loses his ideals as this system of murder & violence corrupts him.
The fact that it's running on a gargantuan runtime of 202 minutes(The longest I've ever seen) and it never gets dull or tires the audience is really a testiment of Copolla's skills as a director which I feel have somehow improved here after the 1972 mastercraft.Screenwriter Mario Pazo also deserves applause as every moment of the film is meaningful & is crafted with dedication.
Although the films features many fantastic scenes my favorite is a rather small one,where there is a shootout on Michael's bedroom.I loved the randomness of that scene as it comes out of nowhere and really shows that no matter their power,killing them is not at all impossible.On top of that I loved Michael's reaction where he doesn't know what the threat is so he goes into hiding,that perfectly built the tone for everything that followed.
John Cazale gives a heartbreaking performance and is easily the most sympathetic of all the godfather characters(as sympathetic as you can be for murderers that is.)
Overall The Godfather Part 2 much like its predecessor manages to be a damn-near perfect film that has a phenomenal scirpt/score,is passionately and masterfully directed and features some of the greatest performances of all time.To answer the million dollar question I still slightly prefer the original but I can see myself changing my opinion on these two as time goes by.