Saw “Rob the Mob” at my favorite popcorn theater in the world, The Little in Rochester, New York and have to begin by saying that Andy Garcia must have been cast by his mom , or similar such person who thought he could portray ‘Big Al’, the mafia boss-gone soft. Just saying Big Al and trying conjure an Andy Garcia image is incongruous. And I’m an Andy Garcia fan, when he plays a genuinely anguished guy, such as Vince in “City Island”. But to make Mr. Garcia feel better, or perhaps more apt the writers of this film, I’ll sprinkle in enough Italian cliches here to make a sickeningly spicy meatball. (Be sure to read all of my cliches with an abhorrently fake Italian accent, in fact grow a beard first and rub it pensively).
As for the rest of the film, a pseudo Soprano-esque Bonnie and Clyde based on a true story from NYC 90’s, I’d put it in the same discount bin as “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”, marked ‘could have been a contender’. This time, the problem isn’t Mitty and Wiig’s flat dialogue, but the editing and sequencing of scenes.
Flashbacks in home movie style of the male lead’s father being offed by the mob felt authentic, but next would come a comic scene with an over the top Griffen Dunne schooling ex-cons on caring about wholesome productivity over money, on to slow mo love scenes back lit in Flashdance presentation, back to good ol Andy giving it the mafia college try by holding up a piece of Mortadella (that’s as see through as his performance) while he pontificates about life. Feel like you’re riding in the back of a trunk yet, not sure of what waterside factory you’re going to exhale your last breath?).
So you’re in the trunk of this shock-less Buick of a film and while on the subject of cars, Bonnie’s ‘ride’ goes from junker with loose loose interior door handles at all the right suspense moments, to an impeccably upholstered baby blue interior as their telemarketing boss hops a ride to the Gotti trial.. To add insult to cement shoes, does everyone leave there uzi in their back seat when they give their upstandingly moral boss a lift?
In messy conclusion, the through line in this film was as squiggly as radiatore. While each story (the lovers, the mafia, the feds and the reporter -Ray Romano who was very believable with hot facial scruff I might add) was interesting and handled with depth, the rice to egg ratio didn’t hold this arancini of a film together.