The Godfather Part II (movie review)

Most of the time, a sequel to a popular movie will be a simple retread of the original. In the case of The Godfather: Part II, "it’s a complete falsehood."

One of the things I love so much about The Godfather: Part II is that one of the most compelling and memorable scenes in the movie consists of people sitting still in a room and talking softly to one another. Sure, the flick has its share of yelling and violence, but in some instances, it’s an understated drama. In these ways, this second installment is like the first one, but the inter-cutting of the two time periods is what sets this movie apart from the first Godfather. (And the third Godfather, for that matter.)

The first Godfather tells the tale of Michael’s rise and the end of Vito’s regime and while the second movie is similar in the sense that it shows us Vito’s rise, instead we see Michael, in his quest to make the family legitimate, wins all of his business pursuits but loses his family in the process. In the end, it was all for nothing, and Michael is alone. This is a much more somber ending compared with the first one. I appreciate it’s not all hearts and flowers at the end of the first movie with Michael lying to Kay and the door visually representing their separation, but by the end of the second movie, Fredo is dead, their mother is dead, Kay aborted their child, left him and took the kids… that’s bleak, man! It kinda makes escaping federal indictment feel irrelevant.

Vito’s story is a lot more fun; he gets revenge on his enemies and builds a life for his new family as he makes good in America. That’s much better than ordering the murder of your brother for betraying you, right? All that stuff in New York at the turn of the century and moving forward is fantastic; the sets, the costumes, stealing the rug… even the music is fun in the Vito portion of the movie. This doesn’t make one section of the movie better than the other, but it certainly sets them apart.

I can’t even think of a sequel like The Godfather: Part II. It’s similar and yet different the original and yet still manages to be a great film. I’d say making a sequel to The Godfather was an enormous artistic gamble, but they pulled it off in spades. I give it a 10 out of 10 – it’s easily one of the best sequels ever, if not the best sequel ever.

About Jamie Insalaco

Jamie Insalaco is the author of, and editor in chief of

Posted on May 7, 2014, in movie review and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Bravissimo, Jamie! Couldn’t agree more paisano, I love everything about this movie- the parallel storylines, the political undercurrents, and of course that magnificent coda, which ties the first two films together so perfectly (it’s like they planned it all along!) This is by far my favorite entry in the series, and I think it stands in rarified air with “Empire” and “Dark Knight” as sequels that outdid they’re predescessors…

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: