There are certain films that on first glance seem to be enticingly excellent that you have to watch it. Especially with the cast list, it seems that nothing can go wrong. So when The Family first arrived with Robert De Niro and Michelle Pffiefer as head of the mafia family locating to the sleepy Riveria of Southern France failing to adjust, you’d think; yes, this is the film for me. And when they released the trailer, it looks like a tongue in the cheek, fun filled ride that’s entertaining and full of action.
Unfortunately, the final product is lacklustre at best.
What a waste of a decent plot. Director and writer Luc Besson sort of squanders his cast and premise for no noticeable good reason, therefore making The Family rather bland. Shifting quickly between different narratives, there is a lack of focus on the initial drama and you lose the grip on the movie. Initially, it starts off as a decent tale of a violent thug family trying to assimilate to the lazy French. But gradually it spins off into these sub-par, sub plots that don’t work as a whole film and barely work as vignettes especially the haphazard narration of Giovanni writing an autobiography on his gangster life. Not to mention that the characters who are pretty unlikeable with no redeeming feature other than the fact that they love each, and The Family just becomes dull.
Set against a beautiful French backdrop and hazy summer village than The Family has. It gets a little lost in itself and fails to hold your attention. If there is nothing else on then it may be worth a punt as background noise for an ill or lazy day. Other than that, it is a stupidly tedious and you’ll find yourself nodding off before any deaths occur.