The Crew review by Tom Blain

Snoozer

Where do I start? How about the Palatine library. I rented this film from there for free, and still feel like demanding my money back. Punitive damages! That hour it took away from before I realized the movie was going no where. The court case would be a loss if they found out I attempted to view it again last night. Yes, it was on Encore. My curiosity was piqued when I saw it on the preview guide and wondered, "Is this the same crappy film I rented two years ago? The same that I couldnt even finish?" My suspicions were confirmed, yet I watched even more. I forgot how bad it was and wanted to know more. Why am I such a filmic masochist? And why is this film so bad?

The Crew is a mix between the Golden Girls and Goodfellas. Being a young man, I shouldn't admit that the Golden Girls is funny, but it is funnier than this movie. And saying its crossed with Goodfellas, is beyond the flattery this movie should recieve. Based on that description, you can probably guess that the main characters are a bunch of geriatric wiseguys. They live down in Miami and recall days when it was filled with nothing but grandmas and grandpas. Oh darn! Now they are surrounded by women with fake boobs in bikinis prancing along the Beach. The main wiseguy is played by Richard Dreyfus (he also narrates this film horribly) and he is followed up in order of importance by Burt Reynolds, Dan Heyada, and Seymour Cassel. None of these guys are even "that old." At least not retirement old; most are in their 50s.

"...and the Oscar goes to..."

Being former wiseguys, they recall days when they were the king of it all, so they spend the day complaining about being miserable old has-beens who are pushed around by the youth. So in order to take back some of their rights and relive some of their old glories, they lay down a fake hit on a guy who is already dead, to drive people out of their apartment and keep rent low. They get in trouble for acting like they whacked the wrong guy who was dead to begin with and by this time, who cares what happens! GIMME MY MONEY BACK!

This movie is filled to the brim with cliches. So many its sickening. I think you can almost find one in every scene and nearly every other line. In fact Richard Dreyfus's who narration is a tapestry of gangster voice-over cliche's sewn together in a patchwork of drab, lifeless writing. It seemed that writer Barry Fanaro learned to write by watching a number of gangster movies but didnt have the originality to bring something new to the table. He repeats stereotypes, lines, and even some steals camera shots (like the long take enterence through a kitchen to get into a club from Goodfellas). Women exit rooms by calmy saying "By the way, I hate it when ...", and when the old farts need something, one of them says "I know this guy," and when quized about it further repeats tight-lipped "I know this guy."

And then there is Richard Dreyfuss. If there is anyone that shouldnt play a tough guy its Richard Dreyfuss. I wouldnt have believed it when he was 30, I dont believe it when he is 50. I will never believe it. I can seem him getting irrate and angry. I can even see him running a temper. But when it comes time for him to dish it out, the guy on the other end of the fisticuffs is who my money is on. On top of that, he has this lispy voice that couldnt be connected to a gangster. There is no Italian/New York accent. When he says 'fugitaboutit', it lacks authenticity. Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro can say 'fugitaboutit' like its second nature. They grew up on 'fugitaboutit'. To Richard Dreyfuss it seems like uncharted territory. So immediately, I can't buy the main character, so I can't buy the film.

At the very least, I must say that Burt Reynolds character is moderatly funny. He is sort of like the loose cannon Joe Pesci of the film. Always losing his temper and resorting to violence. But again, his character is pretty much a retreading of any Joe Pesci character from any Scorcese film (Tommy De Vitto from Goodfellas ... oh will they please stop ripping off this great movie?..., Nicky Santoro from Casino, or Joey La Motta from Raging Bull; take your pick).

Is there a story of interest here? I can't immerse myself in the characters because they aren't strong or based in any reality... there is not investment! What is the story? Them whacking the wrong guy to control their rent... thats it! Gimme a break. I should have known something was wrong when I saw Barry Sonnenfield's name attatched to this but not the Coen brothers! This movie is a waste of time. Don't do like I did... don't even watch it once. I feel that this review is more of a service to the public than a critique of film. If you value your time as a film watcher avoid The Crew like you would avoid the plague.




2 out of 10 Jackasses
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