Mobsters | Chicago Reader

Mobsters

High concept, sleek stylishness, low content. The basic idea is Young Guns remade with Lucky Luciano (Christian Slater), Frank Costello (Costas Mandylor), Bugsy Siegel (Richard Grieco), and Meyer Lansky (Patrick Dempsey) in New York in the 20s. Some attempt is made to compensate for the overfamiliarity of all the elements (read: cliches) with fancy production design (Richard Sylbert), spiffy costumes (Ellen Mirojnick), lots of gore, 30s-style montage sequences (which seem to owe more to The Cotton Club than to the 30s), and the charisma of the actors, who also include F. Murray Abraham, Lara Flynn Boyle, Anthony Quinn, and a rather sinister Nicholas Sadler. Slater, who narrates the story and gets the most screen time, does a pretty good job of making some of this seem less stale than it is, but that's ultimately a rather hopeless endeavor. Written by Michael Mahern and Nicholas Kazan, and directed, fairly ably, by newcomer Michael Karbelnikoff.

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