Biopics aren’t really my cup o’ tea. They usually have the same problem: The filmmaker is trying to show you an entire lifetime in 2-3 hours, some even longer, and it comes off as unfocused and boring. They spend too much time not-getting-to-the-fucking-point it causes me to conk out mentally and not even know what happened anyway for the first half of the movie because A) it’s totally unimportant: we don’t need to know that a person was born, had parents, or grew up, if none of it is important to the actual point of the movie. If you don’t think the film has a point, you should go back to your script and figure one out. If you can’t do that, you should rethink why you’re writing about the subject of your screenplay in the first place.
This movie doesn’t show any of Serpico’s childhood, thankfully, but the first 20 minutes of the movie, where Serpico is just starting out as a cop, before he goes undercover. Because the plot hasn’t started yet, it’s just showing these scenes to introduce us to Serpico’s character, and the romance between him and THE ONLY WOMAN IN THIS MOVIE (more or less), but since we learn just as much about his character after (even more so when he starts an investigation into his own department) and the romance doesn’t do anything that isn’t totally cliche, I mean it, I don’t care anymore, don’t add things that are just cliches, if you can’t make a romance unique and interesting you should not put it in your movie, but, like I said, she’s the only woman in this whole movie, so I guess I can forgive her for being shoehorned into this, but I can’t forgive the filmmakers or the movie itself. I mean, come on.
What this movie has going for it though is realism. It’s scenes are slow, but in a way that makes things feel all the more real, outside of the first twenty minutes. Those scenes are just slow for no reason.
This tells a story of what some cops can truly be like, something I think we’re all too familiar with now. Just like any person, they can be greedy, corrupt, backstabbing, and basically just a group of psychopaths out to destroy the only non-corrupt cop in the city in order to protect their greedy, psychopathic ways. I think I switched to talking about the movie in there somewhere, but who’s to say?
So, it has a lot of good points, but the negatives drag it down. That’s all I have to say about that.
Why you should watch it before you die: Because you’re a fan of crime-dramas, true stories, or just Al Pacino. Or you just hate it when there’s more than a single woman in a movie. Otherwise, you can pass on this movie.