Excerpt: Giovanni Manzoni ( Robert DeNiro ) was once one of the most feared and respected mob bosses in New York. Times have certainly changed. For some unexplained reason Manzoni turned stoolie for the FBI and was moved into the Witness Relocation Program under the supervision of veteran agent Robert Stansfield ( Tommy Lee Jones ).
Conclusion: This one might qualify as an OK rental. Purchasing it might wind up as a completely disappointment. Picking it up for a cheap one-watch isn’t going to harm anyone, but will have you glad you didn’t purchase it. Its not awful, but considering who this movie had to work with it should be considered a disappointment. The disc itself has a tremendous audio and video presentation giving the film the best possible chance for first time viewers to take it in.
Conclusion: I enjoy a good mobster movie – but 'The Family' isn't one. Luc Besson has tried to make a comedic crime movie, but it's not funny and it certainly doesn't succeed as a mobster movie. Flat jokes and the violent criminal element don't blend well. Michelle Pfeiffer plays her part well, but Robert De Niro and Tommy Lee Jones are misused. Nothing happens in this dry movie until the very end, and even then, what arises isn't enough to make the slow ride worth it.
Excerpt: The Manzoni family is well adjusted… to the mob life. Family head Giovanni (Robert De Niro) has dumped his past as he sits in witness protection, sent across the world to Normandy. Under a watchful eye of FBI agents, Giovanni plots out his memoirs on a typewriter as his kin solve their own issues. Following The Family are their eccentricities, typically violent ones.
Conclusion: The Family simply doesn't know what kind of film it wants to be. Besson had two choices here, either playing everything as an outright farce, or playing it straight as a thriller. The weird mash up on display satisfies neither genre and instead will probably leave most audience members shaking their heads that such a fine cast (and, frankly, director) wasted their efforts on something this lackluster. Did you find this review helpful?
Excerpt: A French/American co-production, Luc Besson's The Family takes place among the quaint rural villages of Normandy, telling the tale of a supposedly Italian-American family, but it's so steeped in toothless, homogenized non-specificity that it could have played out anywhere, with any variant of cultural stereotypes installed in place of actual characters.
Excerpt: Luc Besson's "The Family" is filled with his signature visual wit, boasting occasionally sharp satire aimed equally at both sides of the Atlantic, but he lets us down in the end through the deadly combination of broad characters and a rambling narrative that doesn't really know where it's going or why.
Excerpt: If you feel like being nitpicky, there’s a whole lot wrong with director Luc Besson’s newest The Family . An angry, motivated person could write multiple reviews ranting about its bizarre usage of voiceovers and less than expert structure without ever repeating himself. But what’s the point of doing that when the film is actually kind of enjoyable? In spite of all its overt mistakes, The Family has more than its share of laughs and a clear likability.