DVD REVIEW: The Family

Salisbury Journal: Picture: PA Photo/Entertainment One Picture: PA Photo/Entertainment One

FRED (Robert De Niro), his long-suffering wife Maggie (Michelle Pfeiffer) and their two children, 17-year-old Belle (Dianna Agron) and 14-year-old Warren (John D'Leo), arrive at their new home in the dead of night.

"Do we still have the same name?" Warren asks his mother. "No, now we're the Blake family,"

she reminds him.

It transpires that the exhausted quartet are the Manzonis from Brooklyn, who have been placed in witness protection under the supervision of FBI handler Robert Stansfield (Tommy Lee Jones) and his stooges, Di Cicco (Jimmy Palumbo) and Caputo (Domenick Lombardozzi).

Giovanni snitched on fellow mobster Don Luchese (Stan Carp) and his family has been on the run ever since, moving from one location to the next to avoid a shallow grave.

Sooner or later, Luchese and his henchmen will catch up with the Manzonis and there will be blood. Lots of it.

The Family is a twisted black comedy based on a book by Tonino Benacquista that razes one sleepy corner of Normandy in its hamfisted pursuit of big bangs and laughs.

Like the dysfunctional clan, Luc Besson's film pretends to be one thing – a giddy whirl of action, thriller and romance – but turns out to be something else entirely: an unholy mess.

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