Sunday, September 15, 2013
Cindy Prascik’s Review of The Family
Dearest Blog, today it was off to the cinema for a little wiseguy action with The Family.
Spoiler level here will be mild, nothing you wouldn't know from the trailers.
Relocated to a quiet town in France, a mobster rat and his family cause no end of headaches for their handlers in the Federal Witness Protection Program.
I'm not exactly sure by what criteria I'm meant to judge The Family. The trailers led me to expect a solid action comedy, but what I got was part drama as well. There's a good bit of violence--much of it up close and personal--that shouldn't be shocking in a mob movie, but since I expected something lighter, it did surprise me somewhat. Understand, none of that is intended as criticism, just laying out the facts.
The Family is blessed with an extraordinary cast. Robert DeNiro and Michelle Pfeiffer are terrific in the leads. If DeNiro feels familiar in a role like this, he's the poster child for "practice makes perfect." Dianna Agron and John D'Leo and are fantastic as their children.
While not the main attraction, the wrong actors could have shredded the film's chemistry, so it's lucky they're both extremely entertaining...even if it is a bit hard to forget she's playing a high-schooler while pushing 30.
Tommy Lee Jones doesn't have a lot to do as the family's government handler, but, let's face it, no movie was ever worse for having him, right? The supporting cast is mostly a who's who of "Didn't I see that guy on The Sopranos?" and everyone is capable and well-suited to their gangster roles.
Despite clocking in under two hours, The Family does feel a bit long. The first and last acts are strong, with the middle bogging down just a little.
Overall it's very entertaining, and I can't pinpoint anything that doesn't contribute to the whole, but in the end I feel like it could have lost ten or 15 minutes somewhere and been better for it. The comedy is without a doubt the movie's highlight; the rest probably could have done with some trimming.
The Family runs 110 minutes and is rated R for "violence, language, and brief sexuality."
Of a possible nine Weasleys, The Family gets seven. It's not exactly an offer you can't refuse, but it's definitely a good time for your entertainment dollar.
Until next time...