Saturday, June 16, 2018

Gotti (2018)

I don’t know for certain that having a lot of executive producers is a sign that the movie will be bad, but it’ can’t be good.  Consider Gotti, which has 30 names listed on IMDb:  Noel Ashman, Barry Brooker, Peter Capozzi, Fay Devlin, Maurice Fadida, Linda Favila, Thomas Fiore, Ted Fox, Arianne Fraser, Phillip Glasser, Wayne Marc Godfrey, Norton Herrick, Marty Ingels, Anthony Jabre, Robert Jones, Corey Large, Rob Logozio, Randi Michel, Keya Morgan, Vance Owen, Delphine Perrier, Rick Salomon, Steven Saxton, Kirk Shaw, Mark Stewart, Dt Thomas, John Travolta and Stan Wertlieb.  These aren’t associate producers or line producers.  These names are all listed as executive producer.

As you might imagine, Gotti is a movie about John Gotti, the famous crime boss.  It’s framed by John Gotti talking with his son, John Gotti, Jr., about a possible plea deal the son is considering taking.  Senior recounts his life story as a way of informing Junior’s decision.  Yes, it shows him as a crime boss, but it also shows his family life.  I didn’t really get the impression that it played up either aspect that well.  If anything, it portrays John Gotti, Sr., as a horrible storyteller.

The movie is fairly disjointed.  We have two or three scenes about any given aspect of his life.  When his son is hit by a car, there’s a (barely) suspenseful scene of a car approaching the child on a motorize bicycle where we all know what’s coming.  The son is buried.  Gotti tells everyone they’re going to Florida for a while.  Then, Gotti tells his wife that it’s time to move on.  That’s pretty much the end of that.

Because of this, you don’t really get the chance to connect with the characters.  After leaving the movie, I commented that it was like watching a two-hour coming attraction.  There’s no real tension.  I never felt as if I should like or hate anyone.  When one character, Angelo Ruggiero, was kicked out, I didn’t even feel any emotion about it.  This was a major character and that was the end of his part.

I don’t often talk about acting in my reviews.  I feel that if the actors are working best, their acting should go unnoticed.  You shouldn’t even think about acting.  In this case, I felt that John Travolta stuck out like a sore thumb here.  He was way to hammy for a production that was trying to take itself this seriously.  I never really noticed it until now, but it seems that Travolta has been channeling his character from Welcome Back, Kotter in most of his films.  If his character isn’t a grown version of Vinnie Barbarino, it’s at least someone that could be related to him.  His portrayal of Gotti could best be described as Vinnie with anger issues.

I really feel bad for MoviePass.  MoviePass Ventures, a subsidiary of MoviePass, acquired part of the ownership of the movie in hopes of having some sort of revenue stream.  Oh, man.  Did they pick a stinker.  This is not a movie that I can recommend.  My parents and I used MoviePass to see this movie and it was still overpriced.  If I had fallen asleep ten minutes it, I would have considered it a blessing.  I’d watch something else if you’re given a choice.

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