Knockaround Guys

Rated 3.0 A Mob kid flunks his rite-of-passage execution of the informer who sent his pop to prison in the disturbing prologue to this Sopranos-like affair. The rest of this violent, detailed drama about father-son relationships, loyalty, greed and redemption is a passable, hit-and-miss affair in which co-directors Brian Koppelman and David Levien establish themselves more as second-string Tarantino disciples than revelatory filmmakers. We rejoin the traumatized youngster after he has grown into a dour-faced Barry Pepper who tries to break into the crime rather than business side of the family crime business with three buddies (Seth Green, Vin Diesel and Andrew Davoli). A botched transport assignment jerks them from the mean streets of Brooklyn to a small Montana town where they butt heads with the reptilian local sheriff (Tom Noonan). Diesel is excellent as a compassionate pre-XXX tough guy (the film has been on the shelf for nearly two years). The cast also includes John Malkovich and Dennis Hopper.