By Eddie Burton (New Jersey)
When you hear that Robert De Niro and Tommy lee Jones are at last sharing the big screen together, in a mob movie no less. You can’t help but believe that this has the potential to be one of the best films of the year. Well it wasn’t. It was the farthest thing from it. Not only was it bad, but in my opinion, it’s one of the worst movies of 2013. The Family stars acting legend Robert DeNiro as Fred Blake, who is being hunted by a mob family named The Manzoni family. Fred and his wife Maggie (Michelle Pfeiffer) and his two kids Belle and Warren are put into witness protection and the leading officer on the job is Robert Stansfield played by Tommy Lee Jones.
The biggest problem a lot of critics had with the film is its unbalanced tonal shifts. While yes I will agree with critics as that being one of the big problems, there are so many more to be addressed that many critics seemed to ignore. One problem is that, ITS NOT FUNNY! Not once did I laugh at any of the humor the film was trying to get across at all. The comedy is as generic and predictable as you can get. While I don’t like Hangover 2 or Hangover 3, at least I laughed once. This film didn’t get one snicker out of me. Another problem is where the film takes place. Oddly enough, France is not a nice place to look at. At least this film doesn’t make France nice to look at. The settings are dull, uninventive, and again not fun to look at.
The Family also has some of the most boring child characters in film history. Belle and Warren are so under developed and bland that you can identify with them whatsoever. The actors don’t really help either. If I had the chance to share the big screen with an actor like Robert De Niro, I’d take full advantage of the chance. However, what you see on screen is no interest from the actors playing these teenagers. It’s as if they’re not even trying. But to be fair, they don’t have much to work with in the writing. Some of the sub plots this film wants to partake in are so rushed that one becomes offensive, to me anyway. I can’t help but give spoilers.
Belle wants to find the special someone to basically lose her virginity to. Yeah, cause that’s what love is all about. Sex! Anyway she finds that special someone in her math tutor whose name I don’t remember and am too lazy to look it up and decides he’s the special guy. They don’t connect whatsoever, but the script thinks they do and so they make love. However, the guy that Belle slept with decides that he doesn’t want to continue their relationship. So he treats her like trash and Belle realizes that. Even though she realizes it, what does she do next, she attempts to commit suicide. What?! Where did that come from?! That dark turn had no transition whatsoever and was as sporadic as Miley Cyrus twerking. It doesn’t work that way.
I understand that some woman and men are tempted to commit suicide due to a love relationship gone sour and some go through with it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a sad, tragic thing that still happens all around the world. But this film obviously doesn’t know what it’s talking about when it comes to this topic. Its equivalent to Tyler Perry’s Temptation talking about abusive relationships and Breaking Dawn Part 1 talking about abortion. They simply don’t know what they are talking about. Plus, it just seems out of place and it’s given no development at all. It’s there and then gone. Leaving this part out wouldn’t have changed the film at all and that goes for the kid characters as well. These kids leave such a small impact that if they never made an appearance onscreen, nothing would change.
This film also has two of the dumbest cops in film history as well. It seemed they were trying to use it for comedic affect. But it didn’t translate well with me or the audience. I was literally yelling at the two stooges to do their job and I got a positive reaction from the audience watching the film. Granted all the scenes with Robert De Niro and Tommy Lee Jones were done well and it’s enjoyable to see these two icons finally share the screen together. But they only have five scenes together that don’t go over five minutes.
This film has absolutely no passion to it and Luc Besson (director) gave up on trying to make a good film. It lacks passion, interesting characters, an intriguing story, and is incredibly unbalanced in tone. And is also so formulaic, you can practically speak the dialogue before the actors on screen to. For me, one of the worst films of this year. What a waste of talent.