It is day 2 of the 7-in-7 challenge. The Godfather: Part II, which has a 9.0 out of 10 star rating on IMDB and 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, didn’t land quite as well for me. I loved the first movie, but the second one just was lacking on overall story telling. A lot of stuff happens, but I’m not as caught up in the plot. This movie feels more like a series of vignettes than a cohesive story.
The acting is as superb as in the previous film with the excellent addition of Robert De Niro as young Vito Corleone and the returning Al Pacino and Robert Duvall. Diane Keaton’s performance is fantastic and I didn’t realize it was she in the first movie. Her role in the film may be the storyline in this film as she is the canvas on which Michael’s change is best shown. He isn’t the sympathetic character he was in the first film; he is a devil as heavily painted in the final scene of the first movie. No one will stand in his way.
Kay’s revelation that he is not the man she fell in love with greatly mimics my feelings towards the character. I wasn’t worried for his safety in this film like I was in the restaurant scene in the first film. I knew he wouldn’t die as the cover of the third film is old Michael, but that wasn’t the cause of my ambivalence. He’s changed so much from the first film he even seems to have surpassed his father’s power.
It seems that with Michael nothing is sacred any more. Not family. Not friends. He just simply has a goal and a thirst for power that seems to be unquenchable. The movie is well made of course, but it still didn’t have the story to suck me in like the first.
While I was intrigued by the back-story of Vito Corleone, the scenes didn’t seem to serve the story. There was a clear parallel we were supposed to draw between his rise to power and Michael’s, but otherwise it seemed slightly disconnected or incomplete by the end of the film.
I’m sure this is not the best way to pull in readers, by giving more negative comments then positives about the film. Is it possible the first one was too good to be immediately followed by the second? It is definitely possible. How often are sequels as good as the original? For The Godfather II I give it 7 out of 10 stars based highly on acting and production.