‘The Knockaround Guys’ Not a Knockout

Ani Asatryan
El Vaquero Staff Writer

The newest mafia movie from New Line Cinema, “The Knockaround Guys,” is exactly what it says it is, a bunch of knockaround guys knocking guys around.

Directed by Brian Koppelman and David Levien, it tells the story of a mafia family, and the next generation of mafia kids who can’t decide if they want in or out of the faimly business. They can’t make it anywhere else in life, but they can’t cut it in the mob either.

Benny Chains, played by Dennis Hopper, has a history of crime. His son Matty Demaret (Barry Pepper) wants to be a sports agent but can’t because he shares the same last name as his father. So he decides to try the mob life for awhile.

The movie looks very unfinished, as if it is still in it is developmental stage and still has to go through the special effects and the editing.

The fact that the script is poorly written does not help either. It is supposed to be a mafia movie. Yet it just seems like a bunch of guys, old and young, just sitting around making plans and terrorizing people.

The cast also lacks mafia character. John Malkovich, who doesn’t look, sound or act like someone in the mafia, plays Matty’s uncle Teddy. He seems very soft at times and unresponsive at others. The only person who fits in the cast is Vin Diesel who plays Taylor, the big buff guy who beats everyone up.

It has all the technical elements for a mafia movie, such as the godfather, his assistant, some knockaround guys and next generation kids learning the ways of their fathers. But it lacks chemistry.

If you’ve seen “The Godfather” or “The Last Don,” “The Knockaround Guys” fails in comparison. You develop no attachment with the characters on screen and you don’t even feel bad for the innocent victims that get killed.

And how hard is it really to make full sentences without using the ‘f’ word?

All in all, the movie is not at all what it is cracked up to be. If you’re looking to watch a good mobster movie, this is not the film for you.

“The Knockaround Guys” opens in theaters nationwide today.