Category: Action, Comedy, Crime
Age Restriction: 16LV
Well known names: Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Tommy Lee Jones, Luc Besson (Director)
The Family got mixed reviews across the board with some critics loving it and others tearing it apart. I have to admit that I am one of the ones who found it very entertaining and highly amusing to watch. I think the problem comes in when you are expecting a straight forward mafia action film and then you get this farce of a comedy mixed in between, I can understand how that would make this film seem a bit on the ridiculous side. However, if you watch it knowing it’s a dark comedy and expecting it to be unrealistic and satirical, it really is quite laugh.
The Family is the story of Mafia boss Giovanni Maznoni (De Niro) and his family after a failed hit attempt against them led to Giovanni turning against the Mafia and entering into witness protection program with his family. Unfortunately inconspicuous living is not something that they are good that and every 3 months or so they need to be relocated and given new identities to prevent the kingpin from finding their location.
The plot starts as they are making their way to a new home in a small town near Normandy. As they start adjusting to their new lives, the perspective of the film changes to each member of the family experiencing ‘normal living’ and shows how their mafia tendencies come to the front when they deal with everyday situations.
The film is based on the French novel Malavita by Tonino Benacquista and Luc Besson, who is well-known for directing action films like Taken and Transporter, decided to write a screenplay for it. He got De Niro and Pfeiffer on board and knew that he had to direct this film himself to truly see it come to life. The actors did a fantastic job with their characters, playing them perfectly down to a ‘t’. They made it seem so effortless, as if everything that’s happening is just a part of everyday life and after everything blows up they’ll just move on to the next place again.
As this is a film about the Mafia and their lifestyle, it is not something that I would recommend as family friendly. It contains quite a lot of violence as Luc Besson is known for is full-on action films and that is what we come to expect from him. It also has quite a bit of swearing, at one point they even make a joke about the many ways that Giovanni can use one such word to express different things. There is also one sex scene, which isn’t explicit but suggestive enough to be unnecessary not for a younger audience.
However it is still a very entertaining film with lots of laughs and action that I would recommend (even though it seems like I shouldn’t).
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