Paramount/1987/119/ANA 2.35

    The bigger than life story of Elliot Ness's campaign to prosecute Chicago mob boss Al Capone is perfect material for a larger than life treatment. Still, director Brian De Palma's penchant for going over the top visually and stylistically crop up as potholes in his otherwise well-constructed films. The Untouchables, thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish, may fall into some De Palma created crevices, but overall it's one of the director's most enjoyable films.

Don't mess with Ness. ©Paramount

    Elliot Ness arrives on the Chicago scene at the height of Capone's power. Capone seems like an untouchable rather than Ness and his crew. Ness recruits a couple of local cops and adds an FBI accountant to his team as they attempt to battle the endemic corruption of Chicago. Challenging Capone and crew and cops with equal vigor, Ness and his merry men do their best to clean up. Along the way Ness enlists the aid of a veteran Irish cop, a straight shooting younger cop and an accountant that finds the way to nail Capone by firing a full salvo of paper.
     Kevin Costner, often accused of a bland acting style makes an excellent Elliot Ness. The man on the side of good against evil, armed with the force of innocence, is easy picking for Costner. Sean Connery is outstanding in the chief supporting role as cop Jim Malone. Connery adds needed brawn and savvy to the Ness crew. Of course, Robert De Niro chews the scenery and his cigar with equal pleasure as the legendary mob strong man Capone.
    Director De Palma has a crack crew at work on making The Untouchables come to life. Ennio Morricone's pulsing score embellishes the slick camera movements of Stephen Burum. Everything is a reflection of De Palma's style.
     This no frills DVD looks very good in its widescreen anamorphic transfer. The DVD has a consistent look in all lighting situations. A slight amount of edge enhancement creeps into the picture in high transitions, but it's kept to a minimum. Colors are vital. Mostly, images are sharp enough to reveal every De Palma detail. Morricone's score gets good treatment from the Dolby Digital 5:1 tracks and gun fire is executed with good directionality.



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