The Family Blu-Ray Review

the-family-blu-rayThe Family is a surprisingly competent feature, considering Luc Besson‘s recent track record, with a solid mix of comedic spins and character depth. Well, all things considered.

The somewhat curious combination of Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Dianna Agron pull together for a film about a mob family on the run, with a new identity, a new life, and not much to show for any of it.

Our titular family is off to Normandy, France, which turns out not to be the most fantastic place to live… if you’re used to other circumstances. The comedy of the film mostly revolves around trying to fit in, trying to get “American” food while in Europe, and trying to “take over” a school in a way that only the kids of an ex-mafioso can.

De Niro gives the kind of mob performance only he can, but it manages to be a new-ish breed of “mob,” given that he is to interact with the locals, mostly without whacking them.

Of course, it isn’t going to be that long before someone, in a very ridiculous way, gets wind of where the family is, and sets out to get some revenge. Unfortunately, their Witness Protection handler isn’t going to be a lot of help, especially because he’s tired of moving the family from place to place, as they become more and more difficult to conceal… what with blowing up grocery stores, and so on.

The methodical construction reminds of the days that Besson’s movies had a lot more heart, and were interested in more than a flashy action scene. On the other hand, the fairly goofy, action ending reminds of his more disposable, recent films.

But, it has moments, and though you have to do a fair amount of suspending disbelief, it makes certain points, and entertains.

The bonus features don’t add up to much, with a Making Of featurette that is basically just standard fare (though with some interesting interview bites), and a special effort to show off how many times the F word is used in the film.


Written by
Marc Eastman is the owner and operator of Are You Screening? and has been writing film reviews for over a decade, and several branches of the internet's film review world have seen his name. He is also a member of The Broadcast Film Critics Association and The Broadcast Television Journalists Association.

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