Saturday, September 28, 2013

Movie Review: "The Family" (2013)

Movie: "The Family"
Director: Luc Besson
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 51 minutes
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A mob informant named Giovanni Manzoni (Robert De Niro) and his family are in the witness protection program and are living in a rural village in France. Robert Stansfield (Grumpy Cat, AKA Tommy Lee Jones) is the agent in charge of protecting them, and Giovanni/Fred makes his job a living hell. The only task they are given as a family is to stay inconspicuous...and they can't even do that. Giovanni wants desperately to write his memoirs. Maggie (Michelle Pfeiffer), the wife, blows up a supermarket on their first day in town, Belle (Dianna Agron), the daughter, smashes a handsy teenager's face with a racket, and Warren (John D'Leo), the son, starts a racketeering ring at his school. All hell is going to break loose if, more like when, they are found.

The trailer for this movie promised a lot of laughs and dark comedy, but for some reason, this movie wasn't that funny. The best parts are derived from the use of the "F" word, and De Niro's character's ability to use it as any and all forms of expression.

Dianna Agron and Michelle Pfeiffer could be daughter and mother.
Joe D'Leo and Robert De Niro could be son and father.
Agron and D'Leo being siblings seems far-fetched, but not as far-fetched as De Niro and Pfeiffer being a couple. Their chemistry is almost zilch and you don't believe all four of these people as a cohesive family unit. I even saw De Niro and Pfeiffer on Charlie Rose talking about this movie, and they didn't seem that enthusiastic about being near each other or portraying a couple in the film.  It seemed completely forced and had no romance.

The movie does have its good moments (the ending) but they are too few and far between. Lots of the usual mafia/mob/Italian stallion actors are in this movie but are utilized poorly. We really wanted to like this movie, it seemed like a breath of fresh air compared to the other stodgy, stuffy, generic, formulaic mob movies. By the end, it just felt forced and didn't live up to our expectations. It was more "Oh, that was a movie," and less, "WOW! That was a MOVIE!!!"

My Rating: 5.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 5.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 31%
Do we recommend this movie: Meh.

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