By Jack Rico
The “1-4-0”: #TheFamily is a mafia movie with a funny bone. It surprisingly manages to be very entertaining with a good balance between comedy, action and suspense.
The Gist: A well-known crime family moves to France under a witness protection program of the FBI. But old scores still remain unresolved when a vengeful mafia group puts out a search to kill them.
The Highlights: Luc Besson’s directing, the engaging performances by the whole cast and the wink, wink humor and homages to classic mafia films starring De Niro.
I like the movies from Frenchman Luc Besson. He’s directed The Fifth Element, The Professional, La Femme Nikita and produced even more fun ones like the whole Transporter series, Taken saga, Colombiana and has written From Paris with Love amongst others. They all usually take place in some exotic French city or countryside where you’re overindulged in slick, high octane action scenes, great one-liners and likable stars. Here he manages to unite all those virtues and give us high quality entertainment. The cast is fantastic, Michelle Pfeiffer and Robert De Niro deliver the goods, and the kids, Dianna Agron and John D’ Leo, are delightful surprises. Most of it worked well and I liked all the story lines. The fact that there was a strong infusion of French made the movie experience so much satisfying.
The Lowlights: You could argue Tommy Lee Jones was a downer, but isn’t he in every movie? He didn’t stand out, but he also didn’t devalue the film.
Pay or Nay?: Pay for it. Action comedies are usually hit and miss and this is definitely a hit in my book. I laughed, I was engaged and I was under much suspense towards the denouement. I thoroughly enjoyed De Niro who seems to be picking much better roles since Silver Lining Playbooks, though he was fantastic in Everybody’s Fine (2009), a fine gem of a movie.
Rated: R for violence, language and brief sexuality
Release Date: September 13, 2013
Screenplay: Luc Besson, Michael Caleo
Director(s): Luc Besson
Distributor: Relativity Media
Film Genre: Action, Comedy, Crime