Kill the Irishman stars Ray Stevenson, Christopher Walken, Vincent D’Onofrio, and Val Kilmer. This film is about the true story of Irish thug, Danny Greene (Stevenson). in 1970s Cleveland, Ohio, Greene worked for the mob and made many enemies along the way; but, he was the man no one could kill.
Kill the Irishman is the true story of a tough local guy who becomes a mob enforcer in inner city Cleveland. During the late 1970s in Cleveland, Ohio, there is a mob war occurring between Irish mobster, Danny Greene, and the Italian mafia. During Greene’s rise, he gains the trust of loan shark, Shondor Birns (Walken), but soon turns on him to join forces with an Italian gangster, John Nardi (D’Onofrio). Greene pulls away from taking any further orders from the Italian mafia and seeks to assume his own power. After making many enemies by these actions, there are numerous attempts on Greene’s life. Gaining the reputation of being fearless and invincible, Greene’s infamy earned him the title of the man who couldn’t be killed.
Being a native Clevelander, I am familiar with the area which this story took place. However, I am not old enough to have known the true story of the bombings and news interviews with Danny Greene. After viewing this film, I asked some of my family members who remember the infamous Danny Greene and this era in Cleveland history. From their recollection, much of what was depicted in the film were events which actually happened. In fact, some parts of the film were actual news footage of the bombings and even an interview with the real Danny Greene.
The film may have been assumed that it would be a gangster film along the same lines as Scarface or Casino. That didn’t appear to be the intentions. Instead of for the sole purpose to entertain, I believe that Kill the Irishman was made to inform. The way in which this film was captivated showed a raw, edgy image which coincided with the actual footage.
The set design was spot on with the Collinwood area in Cleveland. As a young girl, I was curious about the abandoned factories in this area which most seemed to have been destroyed by fires. After seeing Kill the Irishman and the circumstances which most of these factories may have been destroyed, I now understand what may have happened there.
Overall, I enjoyed this film because it informed me of part of my cities history. This point of view may not be enjoyed by someone not originally from Cleveland. However, to those who enjoy movies based on a true story, this one was made to truly depict what happened. As I mentioned earlier, it was primarily made to inform.
My verdict: 4 stars