The Family – 3 out of 5
When I sat down to write this review, I struggled to come up with an appropriate opening paragraph but it’s early in the morning, it’s cold outside and I just gorged myself on hash browns and orange juice and I really want to head back to bed now. So, I’ll just forget about the opening paragraph and decide to explain how hard of a time I had coming up with an opening paragraph and then just abruptly jump to the next paragraph that contains the synopsis for The Family.
|"Dafuq was that first paragraph about?"|
The Family centers on Giovanni Manzoni (Robert De Niro), a former Mob boss that ratted on his friends and is now in witness protection. The agent in charge of protecting him, Robert Stansfield (Tommy Lee Jones), changes his name to Fred Blake and then sends the entire family to France where, hopefully, they will be out of harm’s way. There, his wife Maggie (Michelle Pfeiffer), his daughter Belle (Dianna Argon) and his son Warren (John D’Leo) are forced to try and cope with the latest living arrangement the program has offered them. Unfortunately, headaches from those around them and the son accidentally alerting some angry mobsters of their location means that the family is quickly put into the line of fire and must fight to stay alive.
|Use everything you learned from Glee to stay alive...|
Damn, now she's singing "Staying Alive."
While this one isn’t the worst movie I’ve ever seen, it definitely wasn’t the best either. Director Luc Besson—you know, the guy who gave us The Fifth Element and the incredibly awesome Léon: The Professional—provided a film that suffers from an uneven tone and characters that really don’t have much going on with them.
|Pfeiffer always gets this face after watching Catwoman.|
The cast is fantastic and, despite a very unconvincing Brooklyn accent from Pfeiffer, each player is great in the film. Bobbie De Niro, who many think has made some questionable choices in roles over the last decade, is pretty decent as Manzoni and is capable of making the character both intensely intimidating and amusing, along with being able to carry the film expertly. His scenes with Tommy Lee Jones pretty much make the film as you watch two powerhouse actors making simple scenes extremely engaging and interesting to watch.
|The best thing about this movie, though, has to be De Niro's beard.|
That thing is glorious!
|I think we all know who the "mole" is in this family!|
I'll show myself out.
|Now, imagine this scene was actually them making fun of the shitty movies they made...|
|Hey look, it's that guy from The Sopranos. What was his|
name? Large Vagina?
|Pfeiffer is about to stab a bitch. I think it has to do with living most her life in a |
Damn...I'll show myself out again.
The Family does have its moments as it has a great cast and the story is simple and interesting; however, the film suffers from flat, one-dimensional characters and a story that suffers from too many changes in tone. While these drawbacks weren’t total killers for me, it did keep me from seeing this movie as nothing but an average, one-time viewing movie.