OMG THERE WAS SO MUCH BLOOD.
I know it was “Rated R for Intense strong violence” but that was really not enough of a warning. It needs to say “Rated R for Intense strong violence and THOUSANDS of GALLONS of BLOOD”. If you have yet to see this movie, please heed my words. If you can handle war scenes because death is implied but never actually filmed, then you’re in for a real treat because Martin Scorcese doesn’t pan away when a knife gets thrown. You get to follow that knife directly into the person it’s headed for. Then you get to watch them bleed from said knife injury. More often than not, that’s also not the only wound that person gets, and yes, you get to watch all those other injuries happen as well. Thanks for the super light movie, Martin.
Now I know this movie is a “Classic” and I can sorta see why. This is definitely a great revenge story as well as a terrifying glimpse into what New York might have looked like during the Civil War. Plus, Leonardo DiCaprio has that perfect length of hair where it can be down and super sexy but can also be made into a small man bun, and that’s really everyone’s goal right? Also, Cameron Diaz isn’t super obnoxious, so that’s a real win for this movie too.
Here’s my plot summary of the film and yes, there’s major spoiler alerts, because I wish I had known what I was getting into:
1) Daniel Day Lewis and Liam Neeson represent 2 groups in New York – the Natives and Everyone Else #immigrants. They decide to fight to the death to figure out who should really run New York (a very primitive way of doing business). Daniel Day Lewis ends up killing Liam Neeson in front of his son, a young Leo. After the battle, they bring Leo to some sort of bible school/prison place for the next 16 years (Leo’s New York accent was very fake and very strong and I seriously could not understand what he was saying in the beginning. Might I suggest subtitles).
2) 16 years later and you see Leonardo grown up (like add 2 years onto Jack from Titanic). He comes back to New York to kill Daniel Day Lewis at some point. It doesn’t seem like he has any sort of major plan, but you can tell he’s trying to come up with one throughout the film. He meets some of his old friends from when he was little and starts doing business with them. He quickly realizes that Daniel Day Lewis (also known as “the butcher” in New York) owns and runs everything so Leo ends up working for him.
3) Leo and Daniel start to have a great relationship, Leo even saves Daniel’s life once. However, Leo is obviously torn because he hates this man. Leo also meets Cameron Diaz who’s a professional pick-pocket(er) and they become on and off lovers.
4) Eventually one of Leo’s childhood friends get jealous of the fact that Leo got Cameron so he tells “the butcher” aka Daniel who Leo really is – the son of his dead enemy – so Daniel now hates Leo. Personal Rant: CAN WE JUST LET SOME THINGS GO? You literally killed your enemy like 16 years ago and now you find out his son is your friend and you’re pissed? Where’s the logic? Is it really that hard to forgive someone? Yikes. Daniel seriously needs to chill.
5) At some weird Chinese Theater thing Leo and Daniel can sense some tension and at some point in the evening Leo tries to throw a knife to kill Daniel. It doesn’t work because Daniel was expecting it. Instead Daniel ends up beating the crap out of Leo and tries to mark his face so that he’ll walk in shame for the rest of his life. Now, I’m gonna be honest. Daniel literally did no long term damage to Leo’s face. Like none. His face was smooth and beautiful in the last scene and maybe he had like a small scab on his cheek, but it was seriously unnoticeable. Nice job, Dan. You actually did zero damage.
6) Fast forward through Leo healing. He eventually challenges Daniel to a final battle, exactly like the first one with his dad. However, at the same time a mob was starting to rise up because the first draft had begun and New York was not a fan. So now you have the Natives and Leo’s group + a super angry and destructive mob + the US Navy who’s trying to blast the mob from the water ALL fighting at the same time in the same town. SO MUCH BLOOD.
7) Last scene: Daniel and Leo can barely see because of all the smoke and dust. Daniel, I believe, gets a couple knife slashes on Leo. Then a blast goes off. Leo and Daniel wake up a Leo sees Daniel with some sort of wooden shank in his stomach and seizes the moment and kills Daniel. Yay.
8) SOMEHOW CAMERON FREAKING SURVIVES. WHAT? Literally everyone is dead. No one made it. But like some miracle Cameron waltzes onto the scene and helps Leo up and they walk away like a cab is waiting for them or something. I do not accept this ending.
Popcorn Rating: 3 popped corns and 1 kernel
Last thought: Daniel Day Lewis is known to be a method actor. I am very curious if he actually became a butcher or not during the filming of this movie. His knife skills on those pigs he was cutting up were very impressive.