Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Family Review - 2½ Stars

Robert De Niro breaks the Mafia code — he rats on them — and so winds up in witness protection.  You can take the Don out of the Mafia — but you can’t take the Mafia out of the don.  Wherever De Niro and family move, bad things happen.  Michelle Pfeiffer firebombs the grocery store when the owner won’t help her find peanut butter.  De Niro breaks every bone in the plumber’s body when his pipes run brown and the plumber shows up late.  The family offspring run scams at the high school and knock unsuspecting students out with a round house punch or two.   Tommy Lee Jones turns in a cameo as the agent in charge of keeping the group alive.  De Niro and Pfeiffer make things work by tweaking their images and going through the story with a wink and a smile.  “The Family” builds to a gag — involving the local cinema society — so good that it makes the movie worth watching.  I won’t give it away but just let me say De Niro discussing American cinema with a group of Frenchmen and women is worth the price of admission.  Does it deliver what it promises?  Surprisingly good comedy.  Is it entertaining?  Works up to a great gag.  Is it worth the price of admission?  Better than expected.