In the most farcical mobster flick to date, four silver screen veterans team up to play a posse of wise guys in The Crew . Geriatric wise guys? Sure, and why not. With wisdom beyond their years, it’s amazing how these four geezers weasel their way out of trouble and wind up heroes.
The Raj Mahal, a senior citizen hotel, makes plans to upgrade to a more highbrow clientele and the Crew, comprised of Bobby (Richard Dreyfuss), Brick (Dan Hedaya), Bats (Burt Reynolds), and Mouth (Seymour Cassel), is forced to seek shelter elsewhere. But instead of succumbing to the move, these washed-up mobsters decide to take matters in their own hands and fight for their home the only way they know how: the hard way. Once we get to the actual point of The Crew, what then ensues is outlandish high-jinx and complete chaos meant to provide laughs that come too far and few between.
Reminiscent of Stand By Me, Richard Dreyfuss narrates it his way as ringleader Bobby Bartellemeo. I guess you could say Bobby is the most stable of the four characters, and though his internal struggle over which family to support gets tiresome and at times too nostalgic, it is also essential to pulling off this left-field comedy. Dan Hedaya has his moments as Brick, a mortician trying to make good with God by making the deceased look happy. And not to be overlooked is the man of few words, Seymour Cassel as the lady-killer, The Mouth.
Though these three actors pull their weight, I must say that the biggest surprise in The Crew comes from recent Oscar nominee (Boogie Nights) Burt Reynolds as the wacko Bats. His over-the-top aggression makes for some genuinely comedic moments. I guess you could say that these oldies are definitely still goodies.
Despite a great leading cast, The Crew has many downfalls, one being that the trite script is just plain too silly, even for the most slaphappy of people. Not only that, but the supporting cast is a major weak link. Once again Jennifer Tilly struts around in tight little dresses with her breasts bulging and a baby voice that surpasses Fran Drescher’s on the Richter Scale of annoying voices. And Carrie-Anne Moss doesn’t contribute much more as Olivia, Bobby’s estranged daughter and the detective on their case.
The Crew overdoses on stupid one-liners and drags almost to a halt halfway through the show, but the fogy foursome are still in their prime. With that said, I guess it’s up to you to decide if the heavyweight stars and minimal jokes are enough for you to bear the theater experience, and the ungodly price of admission.
+ Ashley Adams