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America loves the tough guy. The guy who faces the impossible odds and beats them to a bloody pulp. Examples - Rocky, Dirty Harry or Dalton ("Road House"). America also loves the bad guy. The guy that we really shouldn't support but we do anyhow. Examples - The Godfather, Scarface and Henry Hill ("Goodfellas"). In "Kill the Irishman" we are now given a new underdog, bad guy to cheer for, Danny Greene (played by Ray Stevenson). All-American tough guy.
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In Jonathan Hensleigh's latest movie based on Danny Greene's life in the 1970s, we see the tough guy who works his way up from the docks in Cleveland, Ohio. Greene has it rough from the beginning, an orphan raised on Cleveland's mean streets. He takes a job on the docks shoveling grain and is soon given the opportunity to become a union leader because he is one of the only guys that reads books. So, he is also a tough guy with some intellect. He literally fights his way into his position of Union Boss. From there he leads a corrupt life assisting the local Italian mafia in robbing the docks where he works.
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Does this sound like any kind of movie hero? Why are we intrigued to continue watching? Maybe it's because some of us (mainly us guys) secretly want to be Greene. The guy that doesn't take nonsense from anyone. If someone gets in your way, break his jaw, beat him down and don't worry about consequences.