Big Reviews: Scorsese Flick Fails to Please: GANGING UP: Leonardo DiCaprio and Daniel Day Lewis Star in Martin Scorsese's Gangs of New York; Gangs of New York; Drama, 18, 167 Mins; Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Daniel Day-Lewis, Cameron Diaz, Jim Broadbent, John C Reilly, Henry Thomas, Brendan Gleeson, David Hemmimgs, Liam Neeson
Martin Scorsese returns to the mean streets of his beloved New York City for this 19th century tale of gang warfare and doomed love, inspired by Herbert Asbury's book of the same name.
Gangs Of New York is an epic undertaking, and with a budget estimated in excess of pounds 100 million, the film is the director's grandest and riskiest project to date. Despite critical success and numerous awards, Scorsese's films rarely set the box office alight commercially, and regrettably Gangs Of New York will not recoup its money. Not by a long shot.
If the director was hoping to make this year's Titanic, replete with Leonardo DiCaprio as the romantic hero, then he fails. Scorsese doesn't need an iceberg - the screenwriters sink the film with weak characterisation and a sprawling narrative.
The Dead Rabbits and the Nativists are two gangs who rule the poorest neighbourhoods of the Big Apple with an iron fist. Rivalry between the two camps is fierce, and their skirmishes are increasingly bloody.
Following the death of his father Priest Vallon (Neeson) at the hands of Nativist leader Bill ''The Butcher'' Cutting (Day-Lewis), young Amsterdam Vallon vows revenge.
Many years later, after the Dead Rabbits have been disbanded, Amsterdam (DiCaprio) returns to his home of the Five Points. …