Writer: Martin Scorsese, Mardik Martin (Screenplay)
Starring: Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, David Proval, Amy Robinson, Richard Romanus, Cesare Danova, Victor Argo
Plot: A small-time hood aspires to work his way up the ranks of a local mob.
Tagline – You don’t make up for your sins in church. You do it in the streets.
Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Scorsese 101
Story: Mean Streets starts as we follow small time criminals, Charlie (Keitel) and his boys Michael (Romanus), Tony (Proval) and Johnny Boy (De Niro) as they go through their normal days of threatening people for money and trying to reclaim the money the loaned out, all while doing their wheeling and dealing.
Thoughts on Mean Streets
Characters – Charlie is the ambitious criminal businessman, he mainly does small robberies with his crew and follows this up with scuffles in bars, he has dreams of moving up the ranks of the criminal underworld with his crew and this is his chance to make that happen. Johnny Boy is the reckless partner in crime for Charlie, he is usually the first one to swing a punch, though he can finish without anything stopping him. Tony is another member of the crew, he owns a bar and doesn’t want any illegal activities happening in his bar. Teresa is the girl next door and partner of Charlie, he reputation puts Charlie’s rise to power in doubt.
Performances – Robert De Niro and Harvey Keitel are both wonderful in the leading role, showing the tough nature his character requires to become a threat in the film. The rest of the cast all feel like they are part of this criminal world too.
Story – The story follows two criminals trying to put themselves on the map within the criminal world, trying to impress the local gangster, which sees them finding themselves getting in more trouble than it is worth. This story does show the old school criminal activity world which sees how the people in this world are trying to make a name for themselves by impressing others, we mostly follow them around the city as they try to cause troubles and stop anything getting out of hand, though it isn’t that much to deal with.
Crime – The crime side of the film puts us into the underworld that the characters will be operating in.
Settings – The film is set in Brooklyn that shows that we are in a tough neighbourhood where the criminals will always be fighting for control.
Final Thoughts – This is a typical crime world film that shows how criminals are all operating through the film.
Overall: Simple and basic crime film.