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Overall Rating

Awesome: 14.04%
Worth A Look: 26.32%
Average: 17.54%
Pretty Bad: 8.77%
Total Crap33.33%

3 reviews, 39 user ratings

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by EricDSnider

"Seriously: It's pretty funny."
4 stars

Jim Abrahams, director of "Hot Shots," brings us "Mafia!" (or, as it is properly called, "Jane Austen's Mafia!" which is actually quite a bit funnier). This film, a parody of Mafia movies in general and "The Godfather" and "Casino" specifically, lacks the manic energy of the best entries in the "so-stupid-it's-funny" genre, but still manages to earn quite a few laughs with nearly non-stop sight gags and ridiculous situations.

The plot is negligible, and in fact, I just saw the movie, and I'm not sure I can exactly retell it. There are several long flashbacks, taking us back to various characters' early lives on the streets of Sicily, or of Little Italy in New York, and they add to the muddiness of the plot. So intent is the movie on spoofing everything and being silly, it hardly even bothers to introduce a storyline.

What there is of it has to do with Godfather Don Cortino (Lloyd Bridges, in his final screen role) passing the torch on to his second son (Jay Mohr), which naturally upsets his oldest son (Billy Burke). There's some retribution, and people get killed in various humorous ways, and Mohr has a girlfriend (Christina Applegate) who's afraid she won't fit in to the family (or The Family) because "I'm the Protestant chick who never killed anybody."

The plot, of course is not particularly important. This genre of film, more or less created by Jim Abraham and the Zucker brothers with "Airplane!," exists mainly to parody other films. "Mafia!" has taken some flack for parodying "The Godfather" 25 years too late. But that seems irrelevant. For one thing, it's not like "The Godfather" is so old that people have forgotten about it. For another thing, "Airplane!" -- widely regarded as the godfather of this genre -- parodied disaster movies, but was released in 1981 -- nearly a decade after the big slew of disaster movies struck -- and "Top Secret" (one of the best of the genre, though underrated these days) parodied Elvis Presley movies and World War II movies waaaaay after THEY were popular.

Furthermore, "Mafia!" also takes cracks at "Casino," "Goodfellas," "Forrest Gump," and "A Christmas Carol." All the comedy eggs are not in the "Godfather"-parody basket.

So is the movie funny? Yes, though in a slightly different way from its predecessors. Prior entries in the genre often relied on witty dialogue as much as sight gags (from "Airplane!": "Surely you can fly this plane." "No I can't, and don't call me Shirley"), but "Mafia!" has precious little in the way of memorable, quote-worthy lines. The focus here is visual comedy, and while it excels at that -- you have to read every street sign and look closely at every shot to catch everything -- it's still nice to have something specific to repeat to your friends afterwards.

The movie is chock-full of flatulence, vomiting and murder, though all of it is done in a non-realistic, humorous manner. Still, some bits are not for the faint of heart. There is some sexual innunendo, though no nudity or sex per se. It's basically what a cartoon would be like if it were live-action and rated PG-13: silly and moronic, but a little more graphic than you'd want your kids to see on Saturday morning. Go in a light mood, though, and it'll make you laugh.

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originally posted: 07/05/03 12:39:38
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User Comments

11/25/10 zenny underrated stupid fun 4 stars
2/13/07 johnnyfog Anyone who laughs at old lady farts that blow up buildings is a stupid fuck 1 stars
10/22/04 jmsynth Lame in places, but much funnier than it's reputation 4 stars
4/22/04 Casey G This with "Dirty Work", "Loaded Weapon", and "Office Space"=hilarious movie night 5 stars
3/01/04 Kev I laughed, but not for the right reasons... 1 stars
12/14/03 Shelly Howard C'est eine pelicula tres vyelikyaya. 5 stars
11/23/03 John Bale Mainly nonsense - but clever slapstick gets a laugh or three 4 stars
3/31/03 Peter I realy love this movie. This is one of the greatest movies I have ever seen. 5 stars
2/04/03 john its good shut up u hatas 5 stars
9/07/02 Agglepraxis Lowball laughs-I guess I'm just a spoof sucker. 3 stars
8/23/02 ! It's a blame for the godfather, but its quite funny 4 stars
8/21/02 I Can't Swim Loads of fun for those 11 or under; all others will be forced to make a face 1 stars
5/28/02 Carla Metzger Whole cast kicks ass; Olympia Dukakis does still more therewith - what a blast! 5 stars
5/15/02 Heather Purplethorne Hit&miss fun, but I doubt Jane Austen had anything to do with it!! 4 stars
4/13/02 oldgoatmon I demanded my money back. I shoulda asked for more. 1 stars
2/11/02 Shelly Howard C'est eine pelicula tres vyelikyaya. 5 stars
1/02/02 Andrew Carden Underrated and Quite Imaginative Spoof On The Mafia. 4 stars
8/26/01 Brian Jacobson MASSIVE GODFATHER RIP-OFF. 2 stars
8/09/01 Mr. Hat Not that funny, but pretty funny. 3 stars
7/28/01 Steve Some really funny shit, but almost fell asleep between the jokes. Senseless, no plot 1 stars
6/15/01 Andreas Mafia! Is the funniest video i have seen. 5 stars
1/26/01 Nicole Sure there wasn't humour in some bits but it was the best movie ever,. 5 stars
12/02/00 Mitja Podgajski One of the worst comedies I have ever seen... 1 stars
8/10/00 Bender Underrated. Come on, there's plenty of funny gags in it. 4 stars
10/29/99 Lame-Oh I hate that girl from Jesse 1 stars
4/13/99 Go Swans If they'd put Leslie Nielsen in it, it could well have been the worst film of all time. 1 stars
3/25/99 Viral Messiah shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit 1 stars
3/12/99 Ah Dooey sucked. Worse than the movies Leslie Nielsen starred in. 1 stars
10/07/98 Korny Island A comedy in search of laughs. One extra star for the "El Nino" gaga, and that's all. 2 stars
9/24/98 Milhouse Faqw A surprise. If you love spoof movies, you'll LIKE this. But Bridges was way past Airplane. 4 stars
9/21/98 MR HOLLYWOOD A comedy with not much to offer,little giggles here and there ! 3 stars
9/14/98 Chip Taylor This shows how the parody genre has run-out of ideas. 2 stars
9/05/98 Mike Lancaster Not one funny moment. The audience sat in stunned silence for 90 mins. 1 stars
8/25/98 Puppy78 (not the golden reciever) mmmm...parody film, with a big red assed baboon on its head. 4 stars
8/24/98 The Capital City Goofball Reeeeeeeally bad. Applegate will need a comeback for her comeback after this. 1 stars
8/22/98 Mister Whoopee The end of the line for this type of comedy. The genre is dead. 2 stars
8/17/98 Pythomas I guess the A-Z-Z team needs to reunite to make something of Airplane!-caliber again. 3 stars
8/13/98 {{OZ}} Complete waste of time. I snuck in and I still feel ripped off. 1 stars
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  24-Jul-1998 (PG-13)
  DVD: 21-May-2002


  06-Aug-1998 (M)

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