Luc Besson, French director of Nikita and the Fifth Element, assembles an impressive cast led by Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer, to try his hand at a mafia comedy. The Manzonis standing in their close-knit community is at zero since dad Fred Manzoni turned state witness against his fellow mobsters.
With murders threats hanging over them, a witness protection officer played by Tommy Lee Jones oversees their move to Normandy. Will they settle into the quiet French town? The answer is a big no, as Pfeiffer proceeds to set fire to the local supermarket while De Niro hospitalizes the plumber.
Meanwhile daughter Belle (Dianna Agron) deals with an unwanted suitor at her new school by crowning him with a tennis racket, and son (John D’Leo) goes on a teen crime spree. It’s a kind of suburban mafia version of the Adams Family. And that’s before the mafia hit squad arrives – which is when the family’s combined talent for extreme violence really comes together.
Despite respectable efforts from its actors, the film seems to be unable to decide whether it’s a broad – and very violent – comedy, or a serious gangster film.
It bumbles along for 90 minutes until, in the final section, Besson sensibly decides to switch to what he’s best at for a final action-packed showdown.
On the Trail of the Marsupilami
A Gallic family comedy with Arabic subtitles, based on a famous series of comic books, it stars goofy French comedian Alain Chabat. He plays a reporter in search of the mythical Marsupilami, heading off into the South American jungle, accompanied by local wide boy Jamel Debbouze. Together they get into all kinds of slapstick scrapes with indigenous tribes and a dictator who is Celine Dion’s number one fan.
In a post-apocalyptic ice age, famine and lethal viruses are among the threats faced by a group of survivors led by Laurence Fishburne (Matrix) and Bill Paxton (Aliens). When they receive a distress call from Colony 5, they send in a search party. Now, if this sounds extremely familiar, it’s because it’s the same plot as every sci-fi thriller since Alien. At least you are in the hands of two capable veterans to take you through the gruesome encounters with the ‘Ferals’, humans who have resorted to cannibalism.
Preview: Battle of the Year
With B-Boying making a comeback the world over, it was only a matter of time before the old–school street dance was given a generation X-Factor makeover. The US has not won the B-Boy crown for 15 years until Josh Holloway reluctantly takes on the job of turning a gang of troubled youths into a world-beating dance crew.
Bollywatch: Grand Masti
This sequel to the raunchy 2004 hit Mashti. Randy lads Vivek Oberoi, Aftab Shivdasani and Riteish Deshmukh have not matured in the intervening years and want to go back to college, not to study mind, but to chase skirt. In fact, Grand Masti is not in any way coy about following the goggle-eyed boys’ eyes as they feast on anything in a tight number. Subtle this is not. Bollywood’s answer to American Pie, with some saucy dance numbers.