The second Hoffa steps out of his car (which is the very first shot of the film), Jack Nicholson is nowhere to be seen. He not only disappears behind a bit of makeup, but his walk is different, his talk is different, his manners are different. He embodies the character from the moment we see him. That's a terrific tour de force performance from one of Hollywood's most gifted actors.
As for the film itself, the 140 minute length doesn't feel too long and DeVito's directing is a marvel to itself. A man who, that same year (1992) made me believe he was the Penguin in Batman Returns, made me realize one could act AND direct AND have great results. The actors truly give it their all and seeing this, we see faces that are now quite famous (John C. Reily) and others who are no longer with us (J. T. Walsh)... David Newman's score is also quite impressive, avoiding the usual pompous fanfare, and instead seems like it's trying to be a voice for the workers, for Hoffa's wishes to see the workers get the respect they deserve.
The film may not be without flaws or for anyone, in fact, but which film truly is?! It's got solid performances, topped by Nicholson, superb directing by DeVito, an all-star cast, marvelous music and quite a few special features. Since we hardly see the list of features, here they are for you to consider:
Commnentary by Danny DeVito, a conversation between DeVito and composer David Newman, DeVito's speech at the Teamsters Convention, Excised scenes, Historical News Coverage of the actual Hoffa, Personal Anecdotes from Teamsters members, Special shots, DeVito's 11 1/4, Siskel & Ebert's review (always nice to see the late great Ebert), Discussion after the read-through, production gallery, Hoffa shooting script, theatrical trailer, and a booklet.