By Megan Bianco
There’s a not-so-surprisingly tongue-in-cheek reference to GoodFellas in Luc Besson’s new gangster flick The Family, starring GoodFellas’ Robert De Niro. The amusing thing is, the reference goes on for an entire De Niro-centric scene—almost as if it’s the filmmaker’s and star’s way of saying, ‘We know you’re comparing this film.’ But fortunately for this new feature, there’s more comedy and less drama rendering comparisons insignificant.
In Normandy, France, a much wanted mobster named Giovanni Manzoni (De Niro) is recently relocated from Brooklyn with his wife Maggie (Michelle Pfeiffer), daughter Belle (Dianna Agron) and son Warren (John D’Leo) as the ‘Blake’ family. While adjusting to the new country, Warren develops his own con tricks, Belle finds a new appreciation for boys, Maggie learns the new French culture and Giovanni decides to write a memoir.
Tommy Lee Jones co-stars as Giovanni’s witness protection agent and the film is adapted from the book Malavita by Tonio Benacquista. Directed by Besson, famous for The Professional and The Fifth Element, there’s plenty of over-the-top violence throughout to warrant the film’s R rating. But The Family is also the perfect blend of De Niro’s GoodFellas and Pfeiffer’s Married to the Mob that everything from the direction to the casting of the parents flows together. For those who enjoy mob films, The Family delivers just enough to keep viewers satisfied.