Blu-ray Review: “Rob The Mob” Is Full Of Colorful Characters

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Review by James McDonald

A Queens couple who specialize in robbing mafia social clubs stumble upon a score bigger than they could ever imagine, becoming targets of both the mob and the FBI in the process.

In “Rob the Mob”, it is 1991 and Tommy (Michael Pitt) and his girlfriend Rosie (Nina Arianda) try to hold up a flower shop and fail miserably. Rosie is given some probation and Tommy goes to jail for a period of time and when he gets out, they both get a job working at a collection agency. When their first pay check comes in, they are horrified at the meager amount and worry about making ends meet. In his off time, Tommy attends the trial of John Gotti and finds out that the mafia have “social clubs” all over the city.

Through a series of flashbacks, we see that Tommy’s father was murdered by the local underworld so Tommy decides to seek revenge. He holds up a few of these “social clubs”, taking everything in the process, watches, chains, bracelets, wallets, anything and everything. The top boss in town, Big Al (Andy Garcia) doesn’t seem too bothered by them, rationalizing their actions as that of some young punks unaware of who they are stealing from.

After all, Big Al knows that the F.B.I. are watching his house and tapping his phones so he has bigger fish to worry about. After one robbery, Tommy is searching through the wallets he has accumulated and comes across a list which includes pivotal information that could take down the entire cartel. Naturally, word of the list gets out and now both the F.B.I. and the syndicate want it.

“Rob the Mob” starts out as a comedy-of-sorts and as the film trudges along, while there are some amusing scenes throughout, it becomes more of a drama than a comedy and then it seems to want to be a comedy again, occasionally getting caught in its own cross-hairs. There is a rich cast hard at work here. Michael Pitt and Nina Arianda have undeniable chemistry as the love-struck duo that the newspapers have nick-named ‘Bonnie & Clyde’ but they are not very bright, opting to continue robbing the mafia, even when their faces have become known to the public instead of calling it a day with the thousands they’ve already accrued and getting the hell out of Dodge.

The rest of the cast includes Frank Whaley, Ray Romano, Burt Young, Cathy Moriarty and Griffin Dunne who all seem to be enjoying themselves but Andy Garcia steals the show as Big Al. At the end of “The Godfather: Part III”, Andy Garcia’s character, Vincent Mancini, Michael Corleone’s nephew, is made the new Don of the Corleone family. With “Rob the Mob”, it wasn’t too difficult to imagine that this young hothead had mellowed out over time and ended up in Queens with a family of his own. He is soft and cultured but rises to the occasion when it is called for so he hasn’t lost his ‘delicate’ touch.

The movie claims to be based on a true story and we even see a photo of the real Tommy and Rosie at the end of the movie. “Rob the Mob” won’t win any awards for originality but it is a fun ride, full of colorful characters and charismatic performances.

In stores June 26th

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James McDonald
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