Just about everyone from the original 1972 classic returns to continue the story of Michael's rise to power, the story takes place seven years after the first. Cuba, Vegas, and Miami are all becoming hotspots for tourists, money, and crime. Michael is enjoying his life, the life of a criminal, in his beautiful estate in Lake Tahoe. Michael puts his half brother Tom Hagen(Robert Duvall) in charge while leaving to make business and to let things calm down before returning. He also just survived an assassination attempt by his brother, Fredo. What continues on are the up's & down's of living the Mob life, and world as it changes from one day to next. Just about all of the original cast returns for the second part in the series.
A story parallel to this is that of Michael's father Vito Corleone and his rise to power during the early 1900's. Vito, originally played by the amazingly well talented Marlon Brando, is played by a young Robert De Niro. Both of the main characters, Vito & Michael, Father & Son, are parallel and similair it's like looking in a mirror. They both share the same blind ambition, but are both flawed. While Michael shares many of the same attributes of his father, he also happens to share the same flaws. This can only be done by three amazing actors, who not only created the series, but were also part of a long list of actors who created movies.
The cast is just as flawless and perfect as before. John Cazale returns as the troubled brother Fredo. The older brother, that's still alive, who is also jealous of his brother's recent rise to fame and power. Also returning is the always stunning Diane Keaton, playing the wife who struggles to live the normal life with her two kids. The film is filled with tons of excellent performances all from an excellent group of actors who are not only talented but just plain no what they're doing. One of the other acting highlights of the film is Robert Duvall who returns to his role of Tom Hagen. The half brother who was always considered part of the family but really isn't. His performance is commanding and just plain great.
Francis Ford Coppola returns, of course, to direct the second feature. His direction was spot on and you could tell they took more time with this installment than they did with their third film. Ford Coppola is an amazing director, one of the best. Only he could of made this film and the first what it is today. No other American director can even be imagined to direct these two films. No oneelse has the mind of Francis Ford Coppola. It's only a shame he would wait another 16 years to direct the third.
"Part II" is filled with allot of history. An excellent representation of the world at the time and the way it was always changing. The scenery couldn't of gotten any more beautiful. From Havana, Cuba to Miami, even New York. The film is always something that movies aren't today, entertaining. Not only was it double everything(story, actors, settings), it also won double the Oscars of the first one. "Part II" is and will never cease to be the greatest sequel of all time. It shows us how far people will go to acheive the ambitions, their dreams, and their quest for power. That ladies and gentleman, that is the true American Dream. Grade: A