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Overall Rating

Awesome: 0%
Worth A Look: 20%
Average: 22.5%
Pretty Bad37.5%
Total Crap: 20%

5 reviews, 10 user ratings

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Crew, The (2000)
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by Erik Childress

"Makings of Fun Crime Comedy Disappears"
2 stars

I’m always curious to find out where a film falls apart. Is it in the script? The editing? The direction? Sometimes it may happen as early as pre-production. The idea is there. The script is there. And the actors are there. The new mob comedy, The Crew, seems to have all the right pieces in place for it to work, but can’t pull them all together winding up with a disappointing comedy that just falls apart.

The plot: Four ex-mobsters in their twilight years have retired to Miami Beach and seem to all live in the same room of the same hotel. Their plot: The hotel they live in is raising the rent. So, in an effort, to continue living in the lifestyle they’ve now been accustomed to, they steal a corpse and blow its head off in the lobby to fake a mob hit. The Problems: After their scheme is discovered by a local stripper, they are blackmailed into rubbing out her stepmother who happens to co-own their favorite restaurant who also happens to live next door to a druglord whose deceased father happens to be the corpse that was shot up in the hotel lobby. Our Problem: Most of this doesn’t happen to be very funny.

When the plot isn’t commanding first-rate attention with all its twists and turns, the script resorts to becoming a dead-on and rather unfunny parody of Goodfellas. Instead of resorting to skewering all mob movies like the parody, Mafia!, did, The Crew focuses on Goodfellas, in a way that it seems to hope that nobody really notices. The famous steadicam shot from Scorsese’s masterpiece is replicated here as the four wise guys are snuck through the back of a restaurant (for a dollar tip) in order to get their serving of free soup. The sequence fails to produce a single laugh and has a long laboring presence that ends on a humorless punchline. The similar parodying in Swingers was much funnier. There’s also a reference to a “Lufthansa heist” and a moment when the crew is asked to keep their newfound money in a low-key way. You tell me if you laugh more at Richard Dreyfuss here or the way Robert DeNiro originally handled it. What’s supposed to come off as parody ends up more like outright theft. I even caught a joke from Lost In America. Even when a character farts, it’s the same sounding fart that you hear in countless other films. You would think with all the technology and sound engineers out there, they could pick up a Pull My Finger CD.

The only thing that gets us through the virtually laughless first half hour and then the final 58 is the first-rate nature of the cast involved. At the very least, everyone seems to be having some fun with their roles. Dreyfuss narrates a bit too much but is always a pleasure to watch. Burt Reynolds and Dan Hedaya have some nice interplay together and Seymour Cassel spends most of the movie being quiet and trying to get it up. Jennifer Tilly plays a stripper who never takes her clothes all the way off and Carrie-Anne Moss doesn’t get much to do except prove that she actually has those Matrix-like kick reflexes. Miguel Sandoval has some funny moments playing yet another drug kingpin. And it’s always nice to see fellow Chicagoan Jeremy Piven in any movie. He has an energy and a talent to take any two-bit supporting character he’s playing and make you wish he was the actual star.

Grumpy Old Mobsters or Mob Cowboys, however you want to put it, this is a high-concept at the story level, just not at the execution. You have a lot of potentially interesting characters and a story filled with all kinds of twists and turns and by setting it in Miami Beach, you have the makings of a fun comedy likened to the tales of Elmore Leonard or Carl Hiaasen. But The Crew isn’t even as funny as Tough Guys or Going In Style, two much better films about old guys getting back into or trying out a life of crime. This is a film that does have some decent laughs (mostly in the second half), but if you’re looking for a good old guy-crime comedy, check out the films I just recommended.

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originally posted: 08/30/00 12:30:41
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User Comments

3/21/10 art AVOID IT LIKE THE PLAGUE! 1 stars
3/26/03 Jack Sommersby Some cute moments, but film runs out of material after 20 minutes. 2 stars
8/17/02 Andrew Patrick This Movie Is Outrageously Funny,This Is The Best I Ever Seen 3 stars
8/15/02 Andrew Patrick I Think The Crew Is One Of The Funniest Movies I Ever Seen 3 stars
7/12/02 drkdahlia Falls flat in a couple of places, but generally funny 3 stars
11/28/01 C.B aside from the part at the end, this sucked big time. 2 stars
4/09/01 Girl 9 Pathetic attempts at humor only cheapen this already crappy flick! 2 stars
1/13/01 Steph Hammer It sucked 1 stars
9/17/00 JB This movie is fun for anyone who likes these older actors. Its funny but no great. 4 stars
8/28/00 Captain Highcrime This movie contains the funniest looking corpse shot I've ever seen. 4 stars
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  25-Aug-2000 (PG-13)



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