MRR Review: "Rob the Mob"

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A couple targets the Mafia for heists and stumbles upon something big at an underground club.
4

Rating: R
Length: 104 minutes
Release Date: March 21, 2014
Directed by: Raymond De Felitta
Genre: Crime / Drama

"Rob the Mob" is portrayed in 1991 New York, where two crime-driven lovers take advantage of the chaos surrounding the trial of the mob boss John Gotti and start creating some chaos of their own. Tommy (Michael Pitt) and Rosie Uva (Nina Arianda) spent some time in prison for holding up a florist shop, but director Raymond De Felitta focuses on the couple's appetite for destruction as they start running heists on Mafia social clubs.

When Tommy and Rosie got out of prison for their florist heist, Rosie got a job working as a debt collector for an enthusiastic boss (Griffin Dunne) who, being an ex-con himself, liked to hire people out of prison to give them a fresh start. Rosie found an opening at the agency and got Tommy hired on. The couple lived in an unflattering abode and barely made ends meet living the straight life.

Trying to live right started to take a toll on the couple, who seemed to stay broke. With Mafia boss John Gotti in the spotlight, Tommy begins skipping shifts at work to visit the notorious trial. When he hears Sammy "The Bull" testify in graphic detail about social clubs where guns are not permitted, the light bulb goes off in his head. Tommy comes up with a scheme to steal from the "bad guys," and what seemed like a perfect plan at the time, Rosie driving the getaway car and Tommy sticking up the Mafia social clubs, proved to turn into a disastrous situation.

De Felitta takes "Rob the Mob" to new heights by showing the story from various angles. An FBI agent, played by Frank Whaley, works on locating the Intel and working on the structure and hierarchy of the mob family, while journalist Jerry Cardozo (Ray Romano) continues his 30-year coverage of the mob, except now with a new mysterious duo in the mix.

Cardozo names the couple "Bonnie and Clyde" in his front-page story on the criminal couple, only to have his facts corrected by a phone call from Rosie. De Felitta also shows perspective from the paranoid mob that is headed up by Big Al, who is played by Andy Garcia.

During one of the crime sprees, the couple end up with a wallet belonging to Joey D. (Burt Young), and, inside, they find a paper, otherwise known as the "list," inside his wallet. This piece of information is everything that the federal agent, Cardozo and court officials are seeking. It contains the hierarchy for the mob family, as it shows the internal structure of the family, its command structure, the home phone numbers of its members and other incriminating information.

The couple knows that this information is extremely important, especially in the midst of the trial. Instead of taking it to the authorities, the delusional duo decides to use it as a bargaining chip with the mob and begins making threatening phone calls to everyone on the list. Taking into consideration the couple's lack of smarts, this decision is not too surprising. The two are portrayed in a simple fashion, romanticized to a degree, and both actors seem to fit into the characters easily and flawlessly.

As things begin to unravel, the two find themselves caught in a circle with the FBI and the Mafia after them. The final decision on how to handle the list of Mafia players comes to a dramatic end.

The cast surrounding the main actors in the film are long-time New York actors that help bring the location and era to light. The light-hearted, somewhat dim-witted couple of this story is based on actual people. The historic time in New York played a huge part in how the city is run today, and what this couple discovered while on their endless and careless robbing sprees helped pave the new streets of New York and the people who walk upon them.

"Rob the Mob" is more than a gritty crime story; it offers much more than just violence and organized crime scenes. The romantic world where Tommy and Rosie live is only part of the world that De Felitta helps viewers to enter. Viewers are brought into the worlds of struggling and frustrated federal agents, a dedicated journalist and even the heart-broken world of Tommy's mother, who is played by Cathy Moriarty in a brief cameo appearance.

If you are looking for a journey through history that offers up violence, drama, heartache, intrigue and suspense as well as a few laughs, "Rob the Mob" is the film for you.