Rob the Mob (2014)

(Video on-Demand, September 2015) At a time when it seems as if we’ve seen every mob movie concept imaginable, here’s a slightly different twist on the genre, and what’s more it’s based on a true story.  Here, against the backdrop of the 1991-92 Gotti trial in New York City, we get a sympathetic but dim-witted couple that decides to make ends meet by robbing mob social clubs.  The idea is smarter than it sounds when the protagonist realizes that there are no weapons allowed in mafia clubs.  Still, the protagonist makes plenty of mistakes along the way, and Rob the Mob is never stronger than when it can indulge in the inherently comic aspect of two small-time crooks taking on the powerful NYC mob and holding their own for a while.  Michael Pitt is fine as the lead Tommy, but Nina Arianda is a bit of a revelation as Rosie his charismatic wife, while Andy Garcia plays a fine fictional mob boss and Ray Romano is unexpectedly interesting as a journalist covering criminal developments.  The film moves well, doesn’t dwell on gore, makes heroes out of its unlikely protagonists and delivers the expected entertainment.  As an adaptation of real events, Rob the Mob sticks to the main points of the original story –still, it’s tempting to say that a far funnier film could have been made had the screenwriter taken a few more liberties with the source.

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