416. The Family

Background info

416-the-familyTitle: The Family
Director: Luc Besson
Year: 2013
Run time: 1hr 51m

“A mafia boss and his family are relocated to a sleepy town in France under the Witness Protection Program after breaking the sacred code and snitching on his crew. However, despite Agent Standsfield’s (Tommy Lee Jones) best efforts to keep them in line, Fred Blake (Robert De Niro), his wife Maggie (Michelle Pfeiffer) and their children can’t help but resort to old habits by handling all their problems the “family” way. But the Mob doesn’t forget and chaos ensues. Old scores are settled as Fred is caught in the middle of a life-or-death showdown between his two families.”

Live blog

1:15 – Ooh, French film!
5:26 – “Here’s where we live now, where they make the cheese.”
8:47 – Told not to step outside the front gate, and that’s the first thing he does. Rebel.
14:41 – How did he find all that out so quickly? That’s some serious recon.
23:57 – Tommy Lee! Awesome.
25:41 – “Try to fit in” seems like the worst advice ever.
31:37 – France is all about butter and cream? Intriguing.
39:19 – On the one hand, I’m not so keen on the violence. On the other, it’s quite amusing.
44:24 – How many supermarkets has she blown up?
50:01 – I dunno, I think there could be better dads out there.
55:26 – Is he uncovering some kind of plumbing conspiracy here?
1:07:07 – “Dying for these words is almost nobler than the death I’m destined for.”
1:14:53 – Ah, if only you could have lawyers at parents evenings.
1:19:39 – Love the relationship between De Niro and Lee Jones.
1:25:01 – Having a beef with doesn’t translate, I guess. Un boeuf.
1:35:40 – He fixed it! With dynamite, but still.
1:39:51 – The rageful child now has firepower. This can’t be good.
1:43:52 – Well, I for one never realised that word was so expressive.

Conclusions

The trailer convinced us this might be a good movie that you don’t take too seriously, so we settled in to watch it when we wanted something a little bit mindless.

It was a completely different film to the one I expected to see. Quirky and very unbalanced, more violence than I’d anticipated, and a likeable yet unrealistic family setup. There was no reason to root for this family, as they all seemed to be pretty terrible people, and it was probably the strength of the acting rather than the script that kept you hoping they’d get a reasonably happy ending.

It felt disjointed, like the movie was never quite sure what it was trying to be. It was fun, though, and the Goodfellas reference would probably have been brilliant if I had ever seen that film.

Rating: 3/5

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