Directed by: Sidney Lumet
Starring: Al Pacino, John Cazale, Sully Boyar
I’d never seen this movie before, and I didn’t really know what to expect. Except, you know, that it was Al Pacino in a Sidney Lumet film. So I expected it to be awesome, and I was right! I like it when I’m right.
Dog Day Afternoon is about a bank robbery that goes completely wrong, in basically every way possible. At first it’s funny, but as we learn more about our robbers, it becomes a captivating character study, and I don’t even know what other plot elements I can talk about without spoiling anything. I mean, there aren’t any major twists and turns or anything, but anticipating the next new thing about Pacino’s character is a big part of the fun of the movie.
I’ve seen Al Pacino in a lot of movies (though this is apparently only the fourth one I’ve reviewed here… look, just trust me), and he’s almost always really good. Even if he’s in a shitty movie like Gigli, he at least tries. Still, his performance in this film is nothing short of amazing. Sonny is a much more subdued character than Pacino normally portrays, so when he does his crazy screaming stuff, it’s actually effective and startling. He’s the reason to see this movie, and it’s more than enough reason that pretty much anybody in the mood for a dramatic movie about a man’s terrible life should see it.