Published on September 20th, 2014 | by Allan Brown0
Rob The Mob Review
Movie Review: Rob The Mob (2014)
Running Time: 104 mins
Director: Raymond De Felitta
Writers: Jonathan Fernandez
Cast: Michael Pitt, Nina Arianda, Andy Garcia, Ray Romano, Griffin Dunne, Michael Rispoli, Yul Vazquez, Frank Whaley, Cathy Moriarty, Jeremy Allen White,
Rob the Mob charts the true life account of lovers Tommy (Michael Pitt) and Rosie (Nina Arianda) whom in 1992, intimidated, outwitted and robbed many of New York’s most powerful Mafia members.
Reunited after a short prison term, the inseparable Tommy and Rosie quickly find themselves in a pinch for cash. Tommy, who frequently bunks off work to attend the Gotti trial, soon begins to see an opportunity emerging as testimony’s from high ranking mafia henchmen, suggest mob social clubs are gun free zones. What follows is an incredibly risky game of cat and mouse, as our bumbling love birds take on the New York Mafia.
For all intents and purpose, Rob the Mob, at its core, is essentially a retelling of the Bonnie and Clyde story. However, what director Raymond De Felitta does to set it aside from previous incarnations, is in the films tone. Indeed, despite the movies dark subject matter, the chronicle of events is far from the serious crime thriller or gritty drama you may expect from such narratives. Instead, De Felitta keeps the proceedings light-hearted, seasoned lightly with sprinkle of welcomed humour throughout the mayhem. This keeps the film light, fun and punchy, even in its more sombre moments.
The film boasts an impressive ensemble that includes the formidable force of Andy Garcia, Ray Romano, Michael Rispoli, Griffin Dunne and Cathy Moriarty. And as strong as each of their own performances are, they never come close to outshining our central duo. From his stone-cold, steely eyed, calculated presence in Boardwalk Empire, to the impulsive, charismatic, dowey-eyed kid, Tommy Uva in Rob the Mob, only further suggests Michael Pitt is a truly versatile actor and one who is on top of his game. This to can be said Nina Arianda’s performance of Rosie, who is quite literally a pocket rocket. She is loud, coarse, impulsive and naïve, yet loyal and loveable. The heart of the film is shaped and held together solely by these two outstanding performances.
However, as the film progresses, we are taken away from our central duo only too often. As more and more characters are introduced to the story, many extraneous to the main thread, only offer as a disconnect. As dull, one dimensional characters guising as philosophical Mafia heads, FBI agents and newspaper journalists populate the storyline, the film slips, trips and falls, as they only further pull us away from the most interesting aspect of the film, Rosie and Tommy.
Despite losing some focus of its central characters and over populating the story in the second act, Rob the Mob is an entertaining crime caper that is grounded by two stunning central performances.
Summary: Finding traction somewhere between mainstream and indie cinema, Rob the Mob is a foot loose and fancy free mafia alternative to the hard nosed grit of Goodfellas or The Godfather. As a result, it may just be the perfect companion piece to True Romance.