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The Crew

Starring Richard Dreyfuss, Burt Reynolds, Dan Hedaya and Seymour Cassel; Carrie-Anne Moss
Screenplay by Barry Fanaro
Directed by Michael Dinner

IN SHORT: One last ride for wiseguys needing walkers. [Rated PG-13 for sexual content, violence and language. , minutes]

What is pitched in the advertising for The Crew is a sort of wacky old wiseguys pulling one last caper flick spends. The movie spends most of its first hour postulating "what if you moved the lower echelons of made men in GoodFellas thirty years into the future, to a low rent retirement hotel in Miami?" If anything, keeping the story realistic allows for a couple of beautifully executed nods to Martin Scorsese's work but offers up an emotional landscape that is depressing as hell. By the time the story moves into the realm of coincidences stretched to the breaking point; towards that wacky stuff we expected walking in, it's too late.

For the four old men watching the bikinis walk by on South Beach, life was good back in 1968. Joey "Bats" Pistella (Burt Reynolds), Mike "The Brick" Donatelli (Dan Hedaya), Tony "Mouth" Donato (Seymour Cassel) and Bobby Bartellemeo (Richard Dreyfuss) -- what happened to his nickname is one of the few good gags in the first hour -- not only have far exceeded their life expectancies, they haven't managed to bank a helluva lot of ill gotten gain. The run down Raj Mahal Hotel, where they live, is booting out the surviving residents to remodel and reposition itself for the South Beach crowd. With minimum wage jobs and no place to go these four fall back on their old ways to try to keep the roof above their heads.

Brick, who does cosmetic work in the morgue, "borrows" a body. A murder is faked. The renovations to the hotel go down the toilet as the younger crowd refuses to move into a "crime scene" and all is well with the world. Except that the anonymous corpse was the father of a major South American drug lord (Miguel Sandoval) whose rage for revenge leads to a virtual bloodbath among the mobsters of Miami. Detectives Neal (Carrie-Anne Moss) and Menteer (Jeremy Piven) don't quite buy the stories of these elderly gents but, hey, they're old. Bobby is horrified to recognize Detective Neal (Moss) as the daughter he hasn't seen in thirty years and Mouth is more than happy to brag about the deed, if it will land him in the sack with a stripper he "admires" (Jennifer Tilley). this is where things finally start running out of control, as the stripper blackmails the old guys to kill her stepmom (Lainie Kazan) and the whole deal brings them face to face with the South Americans.

In this last hour, The Crew finds its comic legs but the final sequences are not outrageous enough to get us very enthused.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to The Crew, he would have paid...



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