The Crew

"Weak"

The Crew Review


Too many crooks spoil "The Crew," and I'm not talking about the "grumpy old mobsters" played by Richard Dreyfuss, Burt Reynolds, Dan Hedaya and Seymour Cassel in this withering wiseguy comedy.

I'm talking about the throng of sardine-packed subplots that rob these good actors of all their quality screen time.

This facetious foursome play mobsters retired to South Florida who wind up in the middle of a drug war by trying to keep the run-down hotel they live in from going condo in the wake of all the Porsche-driving 20-somethings moving to town.

You see, they steal a body from the morgue and make it look like the guy was shot in their lobby, thus driving down property values. But the cadaver they swiped had been the father of a local cocaine kingpin who now thinks his papa's been taken out in a hit.

It's a passable sitcom setup, the likes of which this cast could run with, creating a quality comedy of errors. But just wait, we're no where near done yet:

Tony "Mouth" Donato (Cassel), the silent but deadly ex-mobster, ironically spills the beans to a stripper he's shagging (the appropriately stacked and squeaky Jennifer Tilly) and she uses the information to blackmail the boys into whacking her kvetching stepmom (Lainie Kazan). However, they discover they don't have that killer instinct anymore, so they fake her death, putting a store-bought skeleton in her bed and setting her mansion on fire.

As bad luck would have it, she lives next door to the drug lord with the dead daddy (the forever-typecast Miguel Sandoval), and his house goes up in flames too, escalating his ire and bloodlust.

(Deep breath now...)

Kidnapped but not dead, the gaudy, motor-mouthed stepmom becomes a hostage housemarm to the mobsters, taking a shine to Mouth the ladies man, while the boys try to figure a way out of this mess.

(Guess what? We're not done yet...)

Meanwhile, Dreyfuss discovers the sexy detective (Carrie-Anne Moss) working the murders they've staged is his long-lost daughter. But he's just not sure how to tell her (choking back tears now) because he abandon her and her mother when she was 5.

(Almost finished...)

And to add another fold to the movie's wrinkly skin, her ex-boyfriend (Jeremy Piven), an undercover narcotics cop, is secretly working for the kingpin -- who subsequently gets an inkling of the old coot/caper connection and kidnaps the stripper, the stepmom, the daughter cop, the crooked cop and Mouth to try to straighten out just what the hell is going on.

Now I ask you, where's the comedy supposed to fit in to all this? The movie's only 88 minutes long.

Even though it's doomed from the beginning by clichés and design-by-committee scripting, early on "The Crew" gets in a reel's worth of Grade-B establishing laughs. Hedaya has become a funeral home makeup artist who gets a little too excited about his work. Reynolds' short fuse and lack of marketable job skills has seen him "fired from every Burger King in Dade county." Narrating all this is Dreyfuss, who gets a few giggles just from his nasal delivery of his "fuggetaboutit" dialogue.

The old guy gags are pretty standard stuff (playing bingo, lining up for free soup day at the dumpy local diner) and as the plot gets more convoluted, what little creativity there is goes into a tailspin so steep that director Michael Dinner (whose last film credit is that Bobcat Goldthwait talking horse movie "Hot to Trot") doesn't even try to pull out of it. After setting up a big rescue scene by calling in favors from retired gangsters all over the panhandle, the picture literally jumps right over the climax, leaving loose ends flapping around like the upper arms of the crew's bingo buddies.

Given a chance to really do something with these characters, Dreyfuss, Reynolds, Hedaya and Cassel could have shined in such potentially clever roles. But "The Crew" came from a script that was ready for the retirement home itself.

The movie's only standout is the lanky, lovely Moss, who brings an unspoken depth to Dreyfuss' detective daughter. Although I probably noticed only because the part is such a huge departure from her role as Trinity in "The Matrix," something that will probably follow her the rest of her life.



The Crew

Facts and Figures

Run time: 88 mins

In Theaters: Friday 25th August 2000

Box Office USA: $12.5M

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 20%
Fresh: 17 Rotten: 68

IMDB: 5.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Michael Dinner

Starring: as Ged Brennan, as Ratter, as Moby, as Franner, as Pamela Thompson, Philip Olivier as Paul the Hom, Tim Dantay as Steady George, as Keith Thompson, Mehmet Ferda as Dusan, as Dermot, Cordelia Bugeja as Debs, Rebecca Doyle as Smockheads

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Advertisement
Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

With heavy overtones of Hitchcockian mystery and intrigue, this stylish thriller is the enjoyably melodramatic...

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

The 1989 Muay Thai action movie Kickboxer starred a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, who pops...

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.