There are some motion pictures that, simply from the premise alone, sound like they will be a blast. Catherine Hardwicke’s new movie Mafia Mamma is one such title, and it actually leans into the silliness of its central conceit. In some methods, it is like want success for anybody who has felt severely underappreciated in life, offered they do not thoughts some unlawful actions. Even when it will get too slight for its personal good, Mafia Mamma retains issues transferring alongside at a brisk, entertaining tempo that pushes its flaws to the wayside. Led by a pleasant Toni Collette, that is one wild experience.
When the film kicks off, issues aren’t going so effectively for suburban mom Kristin (Collette). Her son Domenick (Tommy Rodger) is headed off to school, her deadbeat husband Paul (Tim Daish) is dishonest on her, and few persons are prepared to take heed to her at work. When the alluring Bianca (Monica Bellucci) calls to tell Kristin that her grandfather Giuseppe Balbano (Alessandro Bressanello) has died, it would not take a lot convincing to get her on a airplane to Italy for what she hopes shall be a trip. Nevertheless, as Kristin swiftly learns, there’s extra to the story: Her grandfather was the top of a infamous crime household, and his final want was that she would take over in his stead.
Mafia Mamma properly retains its playing cards near its chest in relation to letting Kristin (and by extension, the viewers) in on the reality behind the Balbano household. Save for a placing opening that sees Bianca strolling amongst lifeless our bodies (the results of a gathering gone fallacious), Hardwicke and screenwriters J. Michael Feldman and Debbie Jhoon (working off an unique story by Amanda Sthers) do not give many clues about what’s ready for Kristin in Italy. This solely makes the inevitable flip, which comes when Giuseppe’s funeral is disrupted, all of the extra gripping. Viewers are left simply as baffled as Kristin, and Collette expertly performs her character’s confusion, denial, and deep discomfort effectively.
Regardless of the bloody politics at play — for the Balbanos are embroiled in a struggle with one other crime household — Mafia Mamma is humorous, by no means shedding sight of the silliness of its premise. Particular credit score needs to be given to Francesco Mastroianni and Alfonso Perugini as Aldo and Dante, Kristin’s bodyguards who incessantly steal scenes with their humorous antics. Mafia Mamma leans into the comedy at play right here, although it appears much less within the specifics of Kristin’s scenario. Whereas her romance with the charming Lorenzo (Giulio Corso), a determine outdoors the crime world, will get loads of consideration, the specifics of Kristin’s new place as Donna Balbano are glossed over with an ethereal montage. Mafia Mamma exhibits Kristin settling into the job, however would not actually look at how her character develops because of this. The center of the movie flies by as soon as Kristin accepts the job, after which it’s quickly hurtling in the direction of its dramatic ending.
Whereas the plot then feels fairly slight because of this, Mafia Mamma is aware of how one can have enjoyable, and that makes it an pleasant watch. Collette is clearly having a ball right here, embracing Kristin’s inexperience on this planet of crime and her potent wishes with open arms. Kristin is a compelling character, and even when Feldman and Jhoon’s script is not as excited by questioning her evolution, Collette actually sells it. As Bianca, Bellucci exudes thriller and a stunning heat, and her dynamic with Collette is an enchanting one. Bianca very a lot turns into a mentor to Kristin, and watching Bellucci and Collette play off one another is one in every of Mafia Mamma‘s finest elements. The Rings of Energy‘s Sophia Nomvete additionally will get in a enjoyable efficiency as Kristin’s finest good friend, although her half feels extra extraneous than important.
Mafia Mamma is way from a critical film, and that’s what makes it so entertaining. It would not get slowed down within the specifics of its plot, as a substitute selecting to embrace the inherent enjoyable that comes from an ignored middle-aged lady taking on a sprawling crime household. Whereas it would’ve been good for Mafia Mamma to disclose extra particulars about Kristin’s ascension as a mob boss, its humor and Collette’s efficiency make it a strong experience anyway.
Mafia Mamma releases in theaters Friday, April 14. It’s 101 minutes lengthy and rated R for bloody violence, sexual content material, and language.