The Manzoni family, a notorious mafia clan, is relocated to Normandy, France under the witness protection program, where fitting in soon becomes challenging as their old habits die hard.


“The Family” seemed to find an audience. I enjoy that it’s introducing Middle America to the comedy that arises from short-tempered violence. The family is nothing but outsiders, forced to adapt to a way of life that makes no sense to them. It also makes them seem like sociopaths that can’t exist with a hint of dignity in a civilized world. Out of context, it makes the characters seem pitiful and worthy of mocking. But, hasn’t that been true for all crude fish out of water stories? I guess you can make the argument if you focus and examine it all.

I love Luc Besson’s work, but this feels beneath him. The push to use mafia tactics to improve small-town life and the forced relationship with Tommy Lee Jones feels cliche. I almost expected a montage set to a power pop tune that ends with Robert DeNiro and Michelle Pfeiffer high-fiving each other. Needless to say, the film ends as you expect. Everyone learns something about themselves and their new surroundings. Cue the uplifting score and fade to black. 20 years ago, Besson was dropping “Nikita” and “Leon” on our collective asses. Now, this is what we can expect.

The Blu-Ray comes with a Digital Copy, DVD copy and featurettes. The 1080p transfer is really cleaned up for an action comedy. The DTS-HD 5.1 master audio track is pretty cleaned up. However, it doesn’t get a whole lot to do throughout the course of the film. There was some nice back channel action during the finale, but it was sparse. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase to the curious.


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