Robert De Niro has returned to mine his gangster credibility in Luc Besson's 'The Family.' He co-stars with 'Scarface' and 'Married to the Mob' vet Michelle Pfeiffer in this film about a former Mob family sent to live in Europe through the witness protection program.
And from the start of the trailer you can tell what Besson wants you to think. "Can't You Hear Me Knocking" by The Rolling Stones plays over footage of Robert De Niro cooking for the family, so it's impossible not to think of 'Goodfellas' and 'Casino.' But the film twists expectations by relocating De Niro and his family (which includes Dianna Agron) to Europe, where they can't help but act like mobsters. This all seems like the set up to a comedy, but De Niro and his family are being hunted by the mafia, which gives the trailer a sense of foreboding. Oh, and Tommy Lee Jones plays the beleaguered federal agent assigned to them.
Can director Luc Besson bring this all together? Perhaps, though he's more productive as a producer of action movies (he was behind both 'Transporter' and 'Taken' franchises) than a filmmaker in recent years. It's been over a decade since he's pursued the mainstream with films like 'The Professional' and 'The Fifth Element,' while his more recent output includes the animated 'Arthur' trilogy, and the prestige picture 'The Lady.' Perhaps this is his bid to return to Hollywood filmmaking. We'll know when 'The Family' is released on September 20. Here's the film's synopsis:
A mafia boss and his family are relocated to a sleepy town in France under the witness protection program after snitching on the mob. Despite the best efforts of Agent Stansfield to keep them in line, Fred Manzoni, his wife Maggie and their children Belle and Warren can't help but revert to old habits and blow their cover by handling their problems the "family" way, enabling their former mafia cronies to track them down.
And here's the film's poster: