I went into this movie with generally low expectations, I mean with a movie that was shelved constantly for nearly four years and re-shot numerously, I had no doubt this would be a flop. Those expectations seemingly helped this movie, because I was pleasantly surprised. Probably the most intriguing part of the movie is Barry Pepper’s character that wants badly to be one of the guys in the mob but can’t find the strength to pull a trigger. He pulls the Brooklyn accent off well, and never goes over the top. He’s a regular guy who wants to work like everyone else but can’t quite get past the name. He tough and intimidating and very likeable as well. Seth Green is his usual self but is likeable all at the same time; he’s annoying and irritating but he serves his purpose as the character.
People expecting this to be a Vin Diesel movie will be grossly mistaken, because he’s barely in this; which helps seeing as he does a good job in this. Watching him make a spectacle of himself in sub-par movies like “xXx” and “The Fast and the Furious” made me very doubtful but he does a good job. He never over-steps his boundaries as a supporting character and never over-acts. He’s a silent but fiercely bad-ass character who’s loyal to Matty and proves it. He’s likeable and pretty good in this movie. While the plot of the movie is very interesting, the writing suffers. The lead characters spit out bad mob lingo and slang like its on sale and no one ever really says anything of true depth or interest. The movie is cascaded with your typical characters: the mob hoods, the intimidating mob bosses, the townsfolk who look like they stepped out of “Deliverance”, and the sheriff along with his deputy who chew on wheat and growl like they stepped out of “The Dukes of Hazzard.”
The dialogue is pretty poorly written as its clear the two directors who also wrote the movie, should have stuck to the directing alone. A lot of the mafia related characters talk this odd lingo that made it awfully tough to comprehend at times. John Malkovich does a stand-up job as Uncle Teddy who supervises Matty throughout the entire flick and is very intimidating. This is not a mafia masterpiece, but it’s a decent and intense crime thriller with great performances by Barry Pepper and John Malkovich that will keep you hanging on a hook and watching all the way along. The DVD features a lot of juicy extras including alternate and deleted scenes that may help you figure out some of the plot holes in the movie.