My experience with the Godfather films is really a strange one for me. It is usually very easy for me to get invested in a story; any story. I may lose investment afterwards, but I tend to be easily drawn in. But these films left me utterly cold in a way that very few films ever have. The experience was like being at a party full of people you don’t like and who talk on subjects that you have no share in; after a while I found I was just waiting for it to be over.
I don’t really know what it is; they’re excellently made films, obviously. The characters are all horrible people, but I’ve liked other films full of horrible people before now (Goodfellas comes to mind as a thematically similar film that didn’t have the same anemic effect on me). I don’t mind downbeat films either: I saw The Spy Who Came In From the Cold not long ago, and while that’s never going to be a favorite I had a much stronger sense of engagement with it. And to be clear, I didn’t hate the Godfather films; they weren’t actively unpleasant to sit through or anything. I just didn’t care. Nothing that happened in the films seemed to matter to me. As I say, that’s a rare experience for me, especially in a film that I know and can tell is very good (which is mostly why I wanted to mention it). But so it is. You will never see me review these movies, or talk about them much, if at all. They are outside my interest.