Director: Kevin Connolly
Starring: John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Spencer Lofranco, William DeMeo .USA. 1h 50m
The gangsters paradise seems to have had its heyday with bold releases such as Goodfellas (1990) and Casino (1995), the amazing rag to riches backstories, garnished with riches and savage beatings really enthralled audiences, I was one of many who assumed that this release might just make the holy trinity of awesomeness, but who was I kidding, John Travolta as the Teflon Don!? I want to say that this abysmal movie is The Room (2003) of mobster movies but the room is so bad it’s good, it has some charm and is incredibly memorable where as this crumpled lackluster effort is easily forgettable and it pains me to have to write a review.
Rather then cashing in on the John Gotti (Travolta) story that doesn’t really need much embellishment to be a truly extraordinary story, the film is loosely based on accounts from his son John Jr (Lofranco). So it takes this very narrow view of what was going on in the world at this time. The film then tries to cram 3 decades of gangster behaviour into a few hours but drawing out each chapter for all its worth, but it ends feeling like a conversation with lots of awkward silences. So step by step the film details Gotti’s rise through the ranks of the Gambino crime family who dominated New York City, but slowly his fragmented life pushed his real family away.
Connolly seems very out of his depth with this wild project, without any sensible narrative, no sense of direction and with an air of stresses behind the scenes, I can’t think of any other reason for such an astonishing display of haphazard incompetence. I do give some Kudos the costumes and some of the physical changes to make Travolta look like Gotti, in some scenes he does, but he’s child like assumption is to sit around in resting bitch face rather than looking like a tough guy.
For me the whole film feels as if it’s running in first gear and skidding all over the highway, it’s so easy going with no real energy and this lame duck deserved to be executed gangland style.
Travolta totally misfired while trying to portray the poise and sophistication of the Teflon Don in all his bad ass majesty, no one else really stands out, although the small cameo from Stacy Keach as Neil Dellacroce who does a lot of organising from his comfortable chair.
I’d rather wake up with a horses head in the bed…
R:Goodfellas (1990) Casino (1995), Donnie Brasco (1997)
L: Mobster Movies
5s: John Travolta, Stacy Keach