And it happened again THIS week. The film in question was THE FAMILY which returns Robert DeNiro to his mob guy roots and is centered squarely on the Witness Protection Program.
This time DeNiro plays an on the lam whistle blower. An ex-mobster turned snitch trying to stay a step ahead of incarcerated mobsters working with the outside to locate him and his family to seek revenge.
The movie opens as the family – including tough wifey Michelle Pfeiffer – and their kids Dianna (Glee) Agron and John D’Leo are arriving at their latest hideout location: a small village in Normandy, France.
Of course the locals are snotty towards the Americans moving into their French domain.
When Pfeiffer asks about peanut butter at the local market she gets sneared at—which promptly results in her blowing up the joint.
Ditto with the kids at school who fight the class bullies with their own doses of good old fashioned wise guy medicine.
Well, DeNiro probably has the shortest fuse in the family. When he gets the runaround from a local plumber, he fixes HIS pipes instead.
It all plays to the chagrin of F.B.I. agent Tommy Lee Jones who is charged with overseeing the welfare of the relocated and renamed Blake family.
Very violent and downright gruesome at times as all four members of the Blake bunch handle matters the R rated family-WAY!
The best scene comes at a local film society festival where DeNiro, who’s presumed to be an author, is invited to comment at the screening of an American classic.
The movie is Martin Scorsese’s GOODFELLAS starring Robert DeNiro.
Clever. Clever. Clever.
It all sounds pretty promising but it just doesn’t come off very well on the screen.
Sure it’s a subversive, dark comedy. But its director/writer Luc Besson of LE FEMME NIKITA and TAKEN fame just doesn’t quite pull it off here.
Making matters worse, Tommy Lee Jones looks like he phoned in his performance and Michelle Pfeiffer is just walking through hers.
DeNiro, Pfeiffer, Jones and Besson. One would expect more.
THE FAMILY gets a C-
(Reviewed at AMC Town Center.)
JACK GOES TO THE MOVIES Friday mornings at 6:40 a.m. and 8:40 a.m. on KMBZ FM & AM / Also Saturday mornings on WeekendKc.Net / And anytime on Time Warner Cable’s K.C. ON DEMAND-Channel 411.