Robert De Niro in The Family

If we’re honest, it’s been a while since Luc Besson has directed any sort of high profile film. Sure, he’s written and produced 5 out of every 10 interesting action films in the last ten years, including the Transporter, Taken and District B13 franchises. But what has he actually directed? The third movie in the Arthur and the Invisibles franchise? I didn’t know there was a second one. The Lady starring Michelle Yeoh. He won an International Human Rights Award from the Cinema for Peace Awards for that one. It’s not exactly The Professional: Part Deux. All of this makes his latest film, The Family, much more interesting. He’s written and directed a mob action movie starring Robert De Niro, Tommy Lee Jones and Michelle Pfeiffer. Hell. Yes.

The only odd part: it’s being billed as a comedy.

See for yourself with the first trailer below:

For further explanation, I’ll defer to the official synopsis: “In the off-beat action comedy The Family, a mafia boss and his family are relocated to a sleepy town in France under the witness protection program after snitching on the mob. Despite the best efforts of Agent Stansfield (Tommy Lee Jones) to keep them in line, Fred Manzoni (Robert DeNiro), his wife Maggie (Michelle Pfeiffer) and their children Belle (Dianna Agron) and Warren (John D’Leo) can’t help but revert to old habits and blow their cover by handling their problems the “family” way, enabling their former mafia cronies to track them down. Chaos ensues as old scores are settled in the unlikeliest of settings in this darkly funny film by Luc Besson (Taken, Transporter).”

Alright, I can see the comedy. Michelle Pfeiffer blowing up a grocery store is a little ridiculous, even by the standards of mob first ladies like Carmela Soprano. But then, as the trailer progresses, there is some of that fast-moving, high-flying signature Luc Besson street action. Notice actress Diana Agron, most notable for her role in Glee, running away from a guy who is mercilessly mowed down by a car. Ok, Mr. Besson, I’m in for some of that. And some De Niro weirdness.

The Family is due in theaters September 20, 2013.


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