The Family

Rated 3.0

Robert De Niro plays a New York mobster who has testified against fellow Mafia and is now hiding out in France with his wife (Michelle Pfeiffer) and their teenage children (Dianna Agron and John D’Leo). All four are the beneficiaries, more or less, of a witness-protection program that provides them with elaborate cover stories, semi-luxurious accommodations, and a trio of ever-vigilant FBI “minders,” but, it seems, they just can’t help but behave like Mafia thugs in certain situations. Director Luc Besson (La Femme Nikita, The Fifth Element) has shown no particular gift for comedy, and since he is very proficient with violent action and fast-track narrative, that proves especially problematic in this case. The Family is persistently amusing, but never really laugh-out-loud funny. Even the absurdities of violence in this tale are pictured with an authority and an immediacy that leave the comic elements fizzling somewhere on the margins of the action. Cinemark 14, Feather River Cinemas and Paradise Cinema 7. Rated R.