Must not start this review with "Say hello to my little friend!"... Brian DePalma's most infamous film is a pulpy pleasure to end them all, which has led to masses of accusations of over-indulgent, OTT trash since its 1983 release, but which is surprisingly deep beneath its hyper-violent, obscene surface. That it follows the bloody rise of Tony Montana is a well-established fact, and the film has seeped its way into the collective consciousness so much that discussing the finer points of the plot here would be something of a moot point (how many people can quote lines who have never seen the crime epic all the way through). And besides, Scarface is more about ideas than it is about story, it has a compass at its centre that is influenced by both traditional morality and the law and rules of the criminal world - it teaches as much about not underestimating the other bad guys as it does about the perils of arrogance and over-reaching. But yes, though there are a few messages embedded in the plot, it is more a portrait of excess and exploitation whose style and preoccupations mirror its own plot, and it is about as gratuitous as it was possible to be a decade or so before Tarantino made all of that bloody business fashionable and even encouraged. But gratuity has its place, especially when the subject matter is so dedicated as a portrait of excess, and addiction: just as Tony Montana's infinite yearning for power (it is obviously more than just greed) is depicted on screen, there is no more appropriate a way to translate it than in over-blown excessive manner. So the swearing is louder, the violence bloodier, the sexual aggression more pronounced, and that is precisely why the film endures. It could have been no more than a cult classic, driven to moderate success and a footnote legacy by brainless exploitation, but the fact that it lives on even now to be cherished by modern audiences tell the tale of its lasting effect. And that is firmly down to the fact that scratching under the skin reveals a surprising amount about the film and its perfect portrait of fatal megalomania. Oliver Stone is perhaps better known for far more politicised material - and these days you might expect something more overtly critical than Scarface, but it seems in Tony Montana that the writer/director found a character he couldn't write atonement for on the grounds of being a product of some other wider failure of society. Because Montana, brilliantly is completely unresolved: his evil is unexplained, and the fire that burns within him is never rationalized other than as a compulsion, partly driven by his egotism (though that never feels fully satisfactory) - he is purely, simply evil, and intent on rising to the top of his sordid world by any means possible. He is Macbeth, only without the excuse of the malignant machinations of his scheming Lady, or Othello without the sins against him based on his race, or the puppetry of Iago - and while those Shakespearean creations are invariably praised for the mastery that it took to write them, it is arguably the more difficult task to write a character so irredeemable who still demands the attentions of the audience as wholly as Montana does. That achievement also has a lot to do with the performance of one Al Pacino, snarling, snapping, spitting his way through the film in such an overbearing way that it becomes less a film about a character called Tony Montana and more an extended portrait of just what Pacino can do at his most animated. Without Pacino there can be no Montana, not at this hyperactive level anyway, and despite this being a remake, it is almost impossible to imagine anyone else in the role. And despite how much the film belongs to Pacino, it is thanks to the strength of Brian de Palma's tight direction that the hyperbole of that performance is relayed in his terms. That hail of bullets that ends Montana is exactly the way Scarface had to end: all of Montana's desires, all of his compulsions are completely empty: because he is so narcissistic, there is no sense in his desire for Elvira, nor in his wish to extend his family name to a son other than because the kingpin wants them. There is no conquest too small to prick his interest, because as with the film itself, Montana is addicted to the appeals of excess, and no fruits nor spoils could ever satiate his perpetual reach. So an explosive, fatal end, excessive and blackly glorious in its own way is the perfect send off for him. And so ends one of the greatest cult classics ever, a film that will endure several more media transitions in future to remain an essential part of every movie fan's collection, but the real question is how does it fair for now on blu-ray?