This movie is the stepping stone for all other mafia, and drug movies. Al Pacino's performace was excellent, and the storyline was just as interesting. And when you put all the other characters together, you have a film that is complete, and can withstand the test of time.
After watching the documentary on this 20th Anniversary Special Edition DVD of Brian De Palma's SCARFACE detailing how this movie has been an influence on gangsta rappers, I could certainly understand why this movie has become a gangster film classic. It certainly has a memorable main character, Tony Montana, masterfully played by the ever-so-versatile Al Pacino. Montana is a magnetic but deeply flawed individual who gets lucky, gets rich, and then gets greedy (which destroys him), and Pacino does a good job in bringing out the man's magnetism without making us truly like him exactly. And on a technical level it is well-made, with bright, colorful cinematography by John Alonzo to accentuate the '80s flash (and perhaps its lack of substance). And yet after the final gun battle was over and Tony Montana had received his deadly comeuppance, the overall impression I got out of SCARFACE was of a generally unremarkable, overlong action movie with some heavy-handed, unsubtle drama beneath. I guess I just didn't buy the bloated operatic style De Palma employed in this film, and as usual with some of his speeches, screenwriter Oliver Stone has the subtlety of a sledgehammer (sometimes it works, but sometimes it makes you wince, like it does here). "Nothing exceeds like excess," says Michelle Pfeiffer's character Elvira in the movie, and De Palma seems to have followed that in SCARFACE---to the film's detriment, I think. THE GODFATHER and GOODFELLAS are undoubtedly still your best bet if you are looking for great gangster movies. SCARFACE seems distinctly second-rate in that company, despite Pacino's notable performance (and I didn't mind his Cuban accent at all).
[...] I am inspired to write one with at least no grammatical errors.
As most fans of the film know, Scarface is a remake of Howard Hawks' towering 1932 masterpiece under the same name. They tell basically the same story, with basically the same characters; only DePalma stretches it out to a grueling 3 hours, while Hawks keeps his well paced and under 2 hours.
The story is one that is better suited to a shorter length. To put it simply, one man makes it to the top of the latter by having Machiavelli-like ruthlessness, before being killed due to this factor. It makes for a fun film, but at 3 hours it begins to get very tiresome; there is so much filler, that the last hour seems to drag on and on. Al Pacino is of course known for his performance in the film. While over the top, I found that he made it generally interesting, and enjoyable in many otherwise needless sequences; besides the film is pretty over the top itself, so his performance is not entirely out of place. He has the Cuban accent down to a T, and stays pretty reliable throughout the picture.
Its not The Godfather, and its not Goodfellas, but it is an enjoyable film, and one that doesn't hurt to take out from time to time. I give Scarface a 7.5/10, which is very fair in my books.