Wednesday, June 27, 2018
Gotti opens with infamous mobster, John Gotti, portrayed by Academy Award nominee John Travolta, standing in front of the George Washington Bridge, breaking that fourth wall and speaking to the audience to begin his narrative on the life he lived as the crime boss of the Gambino family and his son that succeeded him. It is directed by Entourage actor Kevin Connolly, and also stars Spencer LoFranco as John Gotti Jr, and Kelly Preston as Gotti’s wife, Victoria Gotti.
Connolly’s directing style is different but refreshing. The budget on the film was small, and although that was somewhat noticeable it also set the tone for the movie to be a bit more gritty and interesting. He skipped around a lot as far as the chronological timeline of Gotti’s life, but he did it in a way that it was easy to follow, easy to understand and able to keep the audience completely engaged throughout the entire film. There were snippets of important events in his life, such as the death of his 12 year old son Frankie, that showed who Gotti really was, not only was he one of the most intimidating men probably in the country, but he was a family man, a loving father that only wanted to protect his children. Grammy award winner Pitbull composed the soundtrack for the film and each song flowed perfectly throughout the movie. Some may argue that it was out of place, but personally I feel as though it created the film to be even more riveting and different than all the rest of the typical mafia films.
The acting in the film was decent, but John Travolta’s performance was astounding. He completely transformed both physically and emotionally into one of the most infamous mobsters of our time. His screen presence was perfect as he was daunting and at times rather frightening. Some critics may argue that he was over the top, but honestly, I feel like the man John Gotti himself had to be a little over the top, especially to have the nickname Dapper Don or Teflon Don, he seemed like he would need to be a bit larger than life in order to run a family in organized crime.
In conclusion, this film is highly recommended for anyone that enjoys biographical crime dramas, great acting by John Travolta and a new take on an old tale under the direction of Kevin Connolly. You cannot walk into this film thinking you will see the next Godfather or Goodfellas or Bronx Tale, it is an indie drama showcasing the rise and fall of family man crime boss John Gotti. It is thrilling, expressive and informative and goes against the grain compared to the cliche mobster films.