"Forget about 'Mission to Mars.' This is DePalma's TRUE masterpiece..."
DePalma has never been too concerned with historical accuracy and he loves to pay homage (rip off?) other directors with wild abandon. The Untouchables is no exception. But, damn if this movie doesn't rock.There is a defining scene in The Untouchables where Al Capone (Robert DeNiro) plays a nasty game of duck-duck-goose with his cronies. He uses a baseball bat to emphasize the importance of teamwork. Hell, Billy Martin couldn't have done it better himself. There are so many memorable scenes in this movie that they flow together seamlessly to form a polished gangster masterpiece.
The movie chronicles the crusade of Elliot Ness (Kevin Costner) to bring down the infamous Chicago mobster, Al "Scarface" Capone. It is clear early on that there is so much corruption in the city he will need some serious help. This help comes in the form of an Irish beat cop named Jim Malone (Sean Connery.) Malone is a cop who has seen it all. He knows that the only way to get to Capone is to take the battle to him. Malone tells Ness "If they pull a knife, you pull a gun; if they send one of your guys to hospital, you send one of theirs to the morgue." They go on a search to recruit a small band of lawmen to assist them. Reasoning that the only way to avoid a "rotten apple" is to pick one straight from the tree, they enlist a crack-shot rookie (Andy Garcia) from the police academy. Rounding out the gang-of-four is an accountant named Oscar Wallace (Charles Martin Smith.) These four men become "The Untouchables."
At this point you will enjoy the experience a great deal more if you throw history out the window. This movie was based more on the original TV Series (1959-1963) than on historical fact and benefits from this immensely. DePalma is able to play fast and loose with the actual events and create a film that oozes style from every pore. Connery has so many great lines that he probably had a spontaneous orgasm while reading the script. My favorite line is when he mutters "enough of this running shit" while chasing down a bad guy. Sean Connery deservedly took home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. If you are a Connery fan and have yet to see his performance in The Untouchables, you are in for a real treat. In fact, the acting is excellent across the board. All the villains are colorful and compelling. Billy Drago as “Nitti” arguably out stages DeNiro. In fact, nobody drops the ball in this one.
The musical score is nothing short of brilliant. DePalma deftly utilizes the music to build tension and evoke the feel of the prohibition-era Chicago. It's a shame that those bastards at the academy opted not to give the Best Music, Original Score to Ennio Morricone. I can't even remember the score for The Last Emperor. This one I'll never forget.The Untouchables stands alongside such classics as White Heat and Good Fellas as one of the greatest mob movies EVER. Watching this movie again has restored my faith in DePalma. Enjoy.