|Die Frankfurt-Tipp Bewertung:|
|Produktionsland:||Frankreich /USA 2013|
|Laufzeit:||Ca. 112 min.|
|FSK:||From 16 years|
People once fled from him. But now Fred (Robert De Niro) himself is on the run. Because the former godfather of New York has put some powerful gangsters behind bars with his statement and has incurred the hatred of several mafiosi. To avoid certain assassinations, Fred and his wife Maggi (Michelle Pfeiffer) and their two children Belle (Dianna Agron) and Warren (John D'Leo) went into hiding in the FBI's witness protection program. But the family can never submit to the instructions of their assigned agent Stansfield (Tommy Lee Jones) for long, so that they constantly have to change their identity and their whereabouts. A small village in France is to become the new and hopefully permanent home of Fred and his loved ones. But a godfather from New York in the French province? Of course this can't go well for long, which is why it's only a matter of time before the Mafia gets to them…
When cult director Luc Besson joins forces with Martin Scorsese as producer and Robert De Niro as leading actor to tell a black humorous comedy from the Mafia milieu, then it can only be a great pleasure. And when Tommy Lee Jones and Michelle Pfeiffer are also in front of the camera in the adaptation of a novel by bestselling author Tonio Benacquista, nothing can go wrong anymore. Or maybe?
"Malavita - The Family" is proof that big names and many talents are not enough to guarantee a good film. No question about it, there are many scenes in which the Mafia comedy is a lot of fun. How Maggi reacts to the arrogance of a French supermarket salesman or how Fred advocates clean water in his house is enormously entertaining. And also the increasingly desperate facial expressions of Tommy Lee Jones in a scene in which Fred tells his French neighbours more about the American Mafia at a movie night is simply wonderful.
However, unfortunately the outstanding moments in the almost two-hour running time are rather scarce. Instead, a rather insignificant event dominates the movie. This is neither due to the actors, nor necessarily to the script, but first and foremost to Besson's production, which simply lacks the necessary timing. As well as Besson has implemented the lead-containing finale, the rather calm or humorous scenes seem to be implemented quite listlessly and powerlessly. As much as De Niro, Pfeiffer and their young co-stars Dianna Agron ("Glee") and John D'Leo try hard to get some momentum into the action, they are always slowed down by Besson's direction. The genius he once displayed in "Leon - The Professional" or "The Fifth Element" is only very little to be felt here.
"Malavita - The Family" isn't a bad movie, there are just too many well done aspects for that. But a work that combines such great talents in front of and behind the camera would have had to be better than just "nice". If you're just looking for two hours of entertaining, but also quite trivial entertainment, you really can't go wrong with this comedy. But whoever's expectations skyrocket when reading names like Luc Besson, Robert De Niro or Martin Scorsese will be disappointed and disillusioned after just a few minutes. And that's why at the end it's only enough for one: with some significant cutbacks worth seeing!
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