“The Family”… Or as I like to call it “La Familia” is an incredible, laugh packed, chaotic ride from beginning to end. And oh what an ending it has! If only all movies of the not so exciting fall season could be this great then fall could be the new summer. Or the sequel to summer since Hollywood loves a sequel. Let me back up a little bit.
The Family, written and directed by Luc Besson and produced by Martin Scorsese, is a film based on the novel “Malavita.” It’s about a mafia boss, played by Robert De Niro and his family They are being relocated by the CIA to Normandy after ratting out (yea I’m about to use every cliche Mafia term possible) his former mob family. While in Normandy the family, who are assigned the last name Blake, must stay low key and blend in. It’s clear they have been relocated many times before and we get a sense that CIA agent Stansfield (Tommy Lee Jones) doesn’t want to move these guys again so they need to make this work.
Very quickly we realize this family sticks out more than Sofia Vergara’s curves. We can’t help but notice them. Eventually the mob becomes aware of the Blake’s whereabouts and attempt to settle their beef in the only way the mob settles beefs. We get an ending that would make for a great shoot em up video game. Grand Theft Auto VI: La Familia maybe?!?
Okay look, this movie didn’t reinvent the wheel or anything but if the wheel is rolling smoothly why reinvent it. They did however figure out how to make the wheel spin a little faster and that was enough for me.
The cast is not only led by Robert De Niro who needs no introduction but the great Michelle Pfeiffer as well. These two play a couple with a very short temper when it comes to others mistakes but plenty of patience for themselves and their children. The amazing dynamics of these characters helped out by the witty dialogue given to them by screenwriter Michael Caleo is a lot of fun to watch on screen. It’s hard to imagine a wife who can blow up a grocery store and a husband who can kill a man at the drop of a dime love show affection for each other and their children but somehow they manage to do so.
Their son Warren Blake (John D’Leo) and daughter Belle Blake (Dianna Agron) are no Mr. Nice Guys either. Even though their parents don’t know all of their evil deeds these kids definitely learned a few tricks from their parents. Dianna Agron makes violence look sexy like only the likes of Angelina Jolie can. Wouldn’t be surprised to see a big action flick with her soon. John is very solid as well as the very intelligent and also extremely violent younger brother . Their are also big moments where every lead finds a way to pull on your heart strings a little bit.
Tommy Lee Jones. How can I forget about his portrayal of Agent Stansfield. His stone cold humor is right on the money in this film. His lines and delivery provided some of if not the biggest laughs in the movie. Even though he did an outstanding job I was unsure at times if he was Agent Stansfield or Agent K from Men In Black. Or even the agent in The Incredibles who gave the Incredible family almost the exact same speech at the beginning of that movie about how “they’ve been moved so many times and need to not blow their cover.” Maybe you don’t remember that. Either way I guess there are only so many ways to be play an agent. This brings me to the bad.
As much as I loved this movie there were a few things I couldn’t help but notice. For example when the “bad guys” arrive in town at the end of the movie they magically have vehicles waiting on them once they get off the train. Don’t ask me why they took a train either. I also found it hard to believe that as strong as Belle was mentally and physically that her actions during the climax weren’t realistic. On the other hand I’m not a girl and maybe they are. I do understand the purpose they served in the plot however so I’m willing to give that slip-up a pass.
Overall, excellent directing from Luc Besson (Leon: The Professional, The Fifth Element) who found a way to keep the pace (so fast you might not notice any mistakes), scenes efficient, and display each of the actors’ talents. Mixing hard R rated violence with comedy is no easy task yet he pulled it off. I’m not a huge mafia movie buff but there are also tons of references and plays on stereotypes that are extremely humorous and clever as well.
In trendy Instagram fashion let me make it real clear how much I liked this movie.
1 Likes – A picture only a mother could love.
2 Likes – Yay your best friend AND your mother could love it
3 Likes – A decent time killer if nothing else.
4 Likes – Excellent movie! Something to tweet about.
5 Likes – Timeless picture I could watch over and over!
I give it 4 Likes!
Written by: Myles Warden