According to today’s news reports, no single movie genuinely triumphed at the box office for 2014’s 4th of July weekend. Although producers like to release action extravaganzas targeted at the whole family in the summer, they sometimes take a chance with a slightly different kind of film. In 1987, with its A-List cast and its share of male bonding and conflict, “The Untouchables” was released. With far more visceral violence, this R rated film is less family-friendly than the standard summer fare. Nonetheless, it has much to offer to mature audiences.
Based on a popular television series, which was loosely based on a true story, the film is set in the early 1930s when the depression was crippling the American economy and pessimism shaped much decision-making. Prohibition was still intact, and crime boss Al Capone (played by Robert De Niro) helped bring booze to Chicago. Treasury officer Eliot Ness (played by Kevin Costner) is assigned to thwart Capone’s efforts. Ness soon finds that corruption is crippling the law enforcement ranks. When he meets Jim Malone (played by Sean Connery), an aging beat cop, he concludes that the seasoned and savvy cop may be able to help him. Malone convinces Ness that to stop the powerful Al Capone, he will have to get his hands dirty. They form a small team called the “Untouchables” and work to bust the city’s crime boss.
Much of “The Untouchables” is different from the true story that inspired it. Despite this, the movie is still a fun gangster film with a number of great action scenes. One of the more famous scenes is a bodacious shootout at a train station. This scene is very stylish and very entertaining.
Kevin Costner is excellent as Eliot Ness, who is very moral and is usually deplores violence. Robert De Niro gives an enjoyably over the top performance as the flamboyant Al Capone. Sean Connery won a well-deserved Oscar for his impeccable work.
“The Untouchables” is a great choice for fans of crime films.