“The Family” releases to Blu-ray on Dec. 17.
With Christmas just around the corner, many are thinking about how they will have to deal with their own family. They should be thankful that their family is not the Manzonis, who have to relocate to Normandy, France under the witness protection program. Of course, once they’re there, each one has trouble with keeping a low profile.
Given the last name, Blake, this family tries to settle in with the locals. But every time they get mad, they take it to the extreme. Whether it’s beating the crap out of someone just because he or she said something mean, or it’s blowing up a market because of the poor customer service, the Blake family just doesn’t know when to keep their cool. And then things get worse when the mob that went after them in Brooklyn, N.Y. comes over to Normandy.
Director Luc Besson has done many great and fun films in the past, including “The Fifth Element” and “Leon: The Professional.” With “The Family,” Besson tries to do something different. Instead of making a thrilling action film, he tries to do comedy – in particular, one that also pays tribute to the gangster films of the past. But the film is incredibly uneven, mean-spirited, and cartoonish. One would think this was a “Looney Toons” mobster film with the amount of slapstick incidents that occur, even though the rest of it doesn’t come across in the same vein as one directed by David Zucker (“Airplane!,” “The Naked Gun”).
As if the film wasn’t bad enough, the Blu-ray for “The Family” is extremely bare bones. This two-disc set contains copies of the film on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital Download. The sound and picture are good, but aside from the theatrical trailer and trailers for other films, there isn’t much to be desired here.
There is no commentary from anyone involved, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if they originally wanted to do one and then opted out after seeing such a dismal product.
There’s a 10-minute, behind-the-scenes look at the making of “The Family,” which features interviews with Besson, De Niro, Pfeiffer, and others.
The only other feature on this Blu-ray is a one-minute look at the many uses of the f-bomb throughout the film.
Picture and sound: B/B
Special features: D+