The Family: Movie Review

"The Family" has an interesting take on the usual mobster movie. It's comedic touch makes it more interesting than it should be and while it may not float everyone's boat (with its hyper violent dark humor), without it the film will fall flat literally. What the family has in terms of laughs, it completely lacks in terms of plot and plot development; a simple story that takes almost too long to complete and one that is haphazardly made out.

Six years ago, mafia boss Giovanni Maznoni (Robert De Niro) was believed to have performed some unspecified negative activity to Don Luchese, a crime kingpin in the Brooklyn community. After a failed hit attempt against him and his family, he snitches on Don Luchese and enters the witness protection program under the supervision of FBI Agent Stansfield (Tommy Lee Jones). At present time, Giovanni and his family is once again re-locating to a small town near Normandy. As the family adjusts to life in the small city, Don Luchese inadvertently gets a tip where Giovanni can be found. As Don Luchese's men arrive, the family must try to survive the incoming onslaught.

It's bewildering to find out that "The Family" actually runs for almost two hours and you know why? Because the film never feels complete and to be quite frank, it indeed never finishes some of the side stories it presents. And this is where our biggest frustration for "The Family" goes. As much as we loved its dark and shocking gritty humor and the wonderful acting by its cast (the biggest surprise is definitely newcomer John D'Leo), we can't seem too shake that the film has no direction whatsoever when it comes to its story. It is haphazardly made and by the time the credits roll, you'll be pondering endlessly, "Is that really all of it?" These thoughts sadly is never ever a good sign. "The Family" may bring some laughter but not one that will last that long.

Rating: 2 and a half reels

Why you should watch it:
- its dark humor may not make sense at times but it is at least funny
- great acting from the cast

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- senseless and too long of a plot that eventually turns out unfinished

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