The Family | Film | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

The Family

A witless and surprisingly violent comedy that trades on dusty stereotypes about American mobster and French people


Luc Besson's alleged comedy about a Brooklyn hitman and his family hiding out in a movie-cute village in Normandy, France, combines a tired idea, coasting film stars, lackluster action and an unpleasant mix of comedy and violence. The former gangster is played by Robert DeNiro (delivering his millionth iteration of a housebound bad guy); he shlubs around with the occasional diversion (brutally beating the plumber) and half-heartedly sparring with his FBI minder (Tommy Lee Jones, on his millionth iteration of grumpy lawman). Meanwhile the missus (Michelle Pfeiffer) carps about French food (it's full of butter), and sets fire to the supermarket (it was full of food full of butter). Not to be outdone, the couple's two teen-age kids kick the shit out of their fellow students for — wait for it — being bullies. It's witless, pointless and one less film you need to see.

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