The Crew


Richard Dreyfuss as Bobby Bartellemeo
Burt Reynolds as Joey Bats Pistella
Dan Hedaya as Mike The Brick Donatelli
Seymour Cassel as Tony Mouth Donato
Carrie-Anne Moss as Olivia
Jennifer Tilly
Lainie Kazan
Miguel Sandoval
Jeremy Piven

The Crew is a funny movie with some great moments, but it does tend to fall short in numerous places. The supporting cast also frequently outshine the stars.

Four former mob wiseguys have retired in Florida. Led by Bobby Bartellemeo (Dreyfuss), the crew are no longer the cool cats they used to be. Age has caught up with them. On top of that, the youngsters moving into the city threaten to force them out of their apartments. In a flash of brilliance, Joey “Bats” Pistella (Reynolds) comes up with a plan to scare away the intruders. They fake a mob hit in the lobby of their apartment using an unidentified corpse from the morgue. The plan seems to have worked perfectly until they discover the identity of the corpse – he was the father of a local drug lord.

Things start to go out of control from that point on. The drug lord begins a hunt to find out who supposedly killed his father. A local stripper, who knows they did it, blackmails them into killing her stepmother. Finally, the local police detective on the case is the long lost daughter of Bobby Bartellemeo whom he’s been desperately searching for. All of these situations come to a head in a funny confrontation at the end.

What Worked:
This movie has a really strong supporting cast. Carrie-Anne Moss (whom you may remember in The Matrix) plays the tough, street-smart cop in this film. She does a great job and lets the audience see her act outside of the role we’re familiar with. Moss has some of the best lines in the film. For example, when he slimy ex-boyfriend starts rubbing her shoulders, he says, “You used to love this.” She replies, “Yeah, well I used to love Bananarama, too, but I grew out of it.” Nice way to shoot him down.

Miguel Sandoval as the stereotypical drug lord is absolutely hilarious in this film, too. What really makes it funny is that he KNOWS he’s playing the stereotypical drug lord. He says so in the film. He does a great job trying to puzzle out that rather complex events going on.

Some of the funniest moments in the film for the stars come about as they realize just how old and uncool they’ve become. Reynolds’ character attempts to unsuccessfully bribe his way into a club. Dreyfuss calls up a buddy and says how late it is getting at 5 p.m. They all pop an arsenal of medication periodically. Things really get interesting as we meet some of the older wiseguys.

This was a funny movie with some really memorable moments. Even the corpses got good laughs in the film.

What Didn’t Work:
Unfortunately, the corpses were often funnier than the main stars of the film. Burt Reynolds often had the most lively performance, but for the most part the crew themselves weren’t terribly interesting. The supporting cast brought much needed life to the story.

And if you have a movie about old guys, you have to expect the same old jokes (no pun intended) about impotence, having to pee frequently, being old and stiff, etc. They even resorted to farting jokes which was kind of sad.

I also never really thought of Richard Dreyfuss as a mob wiseguy. However, he seems to try and make up for it by saying, “Fuggeta ‘bout it” over and over and over. It gets to the point where it’s not only cliché, but ridiculous.

The film is so jam packed with product endorsements that you’re not sure if you’re watching a commercial or a movie. There’s Burger King, Naya, Diet Coke, etc etc etc. It went from being subtle to being intrusive. But I guess the fact that I remember those endorsements means they got their money’s worth.

Finally, there were generous closeups of T&A, lots of profanity, and flashing of bare breasts. I was a bit shocked to find out that the film was only rated PG-13. I would have thought it would rate an R, but it didn’t. The MPAA continues to baffle me.

In short, this is a funny film worth checking out despite its numerous flaws.