This is a Mob movie complete with a 20 million contract on a guy who ratted out the Mafia. You have a corpse being buried in a shallow grave. A man is dragged behind a car; people are beaten bloody with tennis rackets, baseball bats, and hammers. Buildings are on fire and exploding while families are being killed and dismembered. Oh, did I mention this is a comedy?
Robert De Niro plays Giovanni Manzoni, a second generation mobster that turned informant. He and his family are in the Witness Protection Program. His wife Maggie is played by Michelle Pfeiffer, his 17 year old daughter Belle is played by Dianna Agron from Glee, and John D’Leo plays his 14 year old son Warren. Unlike a normal mob family where the wife and children don’t know anything about the family business, everyone in this family knows exactly who they are and they act accordingly. All their daily problems, whether it be at school or the grocery store, are handled like a mobster would do it. Because of this they can’t stay in one place very long. They refuse to behave and are constantly being moved to another location. We meet as they are being whisked away in the middle of the night to Normandy France. Belle is a teenage girl looking for romantic love and is not about to fall prey to the local boys looking for a good time. Warren handles the school bullies just like a made man while he is setting up a black market business. Maggie is both friendly and ruthless in dealing with the local towns people. By the way this is not Michelle Pfeiffer’s first time in a Mob movie. She was in both Scarface and Married to the Mob. Tommy Lee Jones is their government handler who is responsible for keep them alive. He plays this character with the same deadpan expression he used in the Men In Black movies.
Let me say, this movie is not for everybody. It is a very dark comedy. I myself enjoyed the movie immensely, but my wife Carla, not so much. She said there was no story to it, and to be honest I’ll have to say she was right. It is more a series of situations that each family member handles using the mob mentality. You do have to stretch your imagination and overlook some plot holes, but the characters and the way the actors portrayed them made that very easy for me. Carla also said I was laughing way too loud when people were being beaten and murdered. That is probably true, but I think that is what the director intended. Each actor was flawless. De Niro is always fun to watch and Michelle Pfeiffer is always a pleasure. By the way, she looks fantastic for 40, especially since she’s 55.
Its 1 hour and 50 minutes, Rated R for extreme violence, language, and some sexual situations. There is no nudity. Thank goodness that Michelle Pfeiffer kept them clothes on!
My Score: 5 Cold Budweisers
Photo Credit: Jessica Forde