David Belle’s return to movies features a time-tested formula: Martin Scorcese, Robert De Niro, and mobsters. But here’s the twist: The Family, which opens September 13, is a comedy. It’s directed by Luc Besson, who penned Belle’s 2004 opus District B13, and is currently filming the remake (Brick Mansions) with him in Montreal. But don’t expect as much parkour this time, judging from the trailer.
Produced by Scorsese, The Family stars De Niro as a former mobster who relocates to Normandy, France under the witness protection. But his wife (Michelle Pfeiffer) and two kids (John D’Leo and Dianna Agron) struggle to shed their vengeful ways. In the trailer, Pfeiffer blows up a grocery store after overhearing the owner refer to her as a “stupid American.” Their inability to assimilate and lay low attracts the attention of the people they ran from in the first place.
Based on Tonino Benacquista’s novel Malavita (aka Badfellas), The Family comes off as a mash-up of two other De Niro gangster flicks: Goodfellas and Analyze This, with plenty of Besson’s Taken sprinkled on top. Eighteen years have passed since Scorsese and De Niro’s last collaboration (Casino in 1995), and The Family marks 30 years since they first worked together on the gangster film Mean Streets. Early reactions to this little-publicized project have been positive.
Watch the trailer and judge for yourself: