The Departed

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The Departed is visually sleek and stunning.

The soundtrack is exciting and intense, alternatively loud and subtle when it needs to be.

The performances are top-notch. Jack Nicholson is a maniac. Matt Damon is nervous and anxious. Leonardo DiCaprio is anxious and tough. Mark Wahlberg swears a lot.

Unfortunately, I found the plot to be fairly empty. The characters, despite being wonderfully portrayed, are one-dimensional. There’s really no reason to care for any of the characters at all. Billy (Leonardo DiCaprio) just wants to stop being undercover. Colin (Matt Damon) just wants to please Frank (Jack Nicholson). Dignam (Mark Wahlberg) swears a lot.

It was frustrating that Madolyn (Vera Farmiga) is absolutely useless. She’s introduced and we see characters spending time with her, but she holds no influence over the story. She cheats with Billy but doesn’t leave Colin. She learns Colin is the rat, but she doesn’t tell the police. She literally serves no purpose.

To tell you the truth, I’m not sure why Frank ended up getting trapped by the police at the end. It didn’t really make sense, given the information we’d been shown the entire movie. I’m not sure how Colin didn’t think Frank would sell him out if he was arrested. The whole thing, while entertaining to watch, was kind of a mess of plot holes and eye rolls.

Everyone raves about the “twists” at the end of the film, but I honestly expected everyone to die. It was actually somewhat disappointing to see that, indeed, everyone just dies.

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