Runtime: 105 Mins
It’s been a while since I’ve posted a review here. Last month I was invited to a private/early screening of ‘Thor: The Dark World’ which I intended to see for the purpose of tearing a comic book movie a new asshole (see comic book movies must go) and see how good the director of Terminator 5 is, but I just couldn’t sit through that shit. I digress. I did however catch ‘The Family’, which seemed like an okay idea due to its promise of “violence, language, and brief sexuality”, and the fact that Michelle Pfeiffer is in it. It was a waste of time. I’m not sure why anyone would’ve seen this movie in a theater and willfully watched it in its entirety, unless they were on the run from the law and needed a place to hide out. But even then, I’m not sure a prison sentence wouldn’t have been the better option. Robert De Niro’s career never really recovered, did it?
This is a gangster movie. Wiseguy De Niro (good to see De Niro breaking ground in his old age) snitches on some goomba’s so he and his family are placed in witness protection and moved to France. Eventually, they come after him. I wish there was more to regale here, plot-wise, but that’s about it. The story is introduced in the first ten minutes, where it is then ignored for the next 85 minutes, then resumed and concluded, badly, in the final 10 minutes. In the interim De Niro invites some neighbours around to a BBQ and his daughter becomes involved in a romantic subplot. FBI agent Tommy Lee Jones occasionally shows up on De Niro’s doorstep looking bewildered, just like anyone who gets stuck watching this immovable slop. He (Jones) does nothing in case you’re wondering, by the way. Nothing. It’s almost like someone organised the cast first and the ‘story’ last.
This is a comedy. A comedy is designed to amuse. I was not amused watching this movie. It has one joke – De Niro attacking random people and beating them savagely, such as a plumber who shows up five minutes late. A variation of this ‘joke’ is De Niro fantasizing about beating people, as opposed to actually beating them. The ‘clever’ bit, this movie thinks, is making you wonder which attack is real, and which isn’t. The problem is, it’s not funny. And not because it’s violent – this site is often criticized for lauding violence. It’s just obviously pointless, humorless and repetitive. Other attempts are worse. Several times I was waiting for the inevitable fart joke. Come to think of it, that probably would’ve been a highlight. De Niro should be thankful that Grudge Match is coming soon, which by all reports is a real comedy.
De Niro has fallen a long way from Analyze This and Meet The Parents. If this was a stand up routine I could sum this review up more succinctly: GET OFF THE FUCKING STAGE!