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August 14, 2019

Gotti (2018) --- “He Showed The World Who's Boss.”

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Hello, Movie Buffs!
     The Gambino crime family is one of the largest and most powerful crime organizations in the country but its boss is even more famous. Known as “Dapper Don,” John Gotti’s (John Travolta) outspoken personality and flamboyant style made him one of the most famous mobsters of the 20th century, which allowed him to rule the underworld until his death. But while his father chose to live and die by the code, John A. Gotti Jr. (Spencer Rocco Lofranco) has decided to redeem himself and the Gotti name by ending his life of crime and leaving the family business forever. Prepare for a never before seen look into the Gotti family and their world of betrayal, crime, danger, and redemption. This is the story of a crime boss and his son, and how their choices set them on different paths in life. 

     Directed by Kevin Connolly (Entourage, The Oath) and written by Leo Rossi and Lem Dobbs (The Company You Keep, Haywire), Gotti (2018) is an entertaining bio-drama that is not as bad as the trailer, which did not do the film justice. Although the film touches a bit on Gotti’s illegal activities, it's not the main focus of the film. Rather the story chooses to focus on Gotti’s (John Travolta) chatty and mischievous tough-guy personality and his family life. Particularly his relationship with his wife Victoria (Kelly Preston) and his oldest son John Gotti Jr. (Spencer Lofranco). The story is inspired by Gotti Jr’s memoir “Shadow of My Father” but because Gotti Jr was also part of the film’s promotional advertisement, it is unsurprising that the Gotti Jr seen in the film is mostly present in a positive light. Also because the film goes back and forth between Gotti’s time in jail and his rise up through the ranks of the mob, the end result is a collage of scenes with no clear connection or consistent timeline. Its sort of a macho soap opera packed with tearful betrayals, melodramatic confrontations, and a few rare moments of humor. 
     The highlight of the film would have to be the performances. John Travolta (American Crime Story: OJ Simpson vs. The People) played John Gotti perfectly. It didn’t feel like he was portraying Gotti, but rather it felt that he was Gotti. This is without a doubt Travolta’s best role to date. Newcomer Spencer Rocco Lofranco (Unbroken) still has some things to learn but he manages to deliver a pretty solid performance as John A. Gotti Jr, while Travolta’s real-life wife, Kelly Preston (Sky High, Old Dogs) is incredible as Gotti’s wife, Victoria. The rest of the supporting cast are good in their respective roles.

     Overall, Gotti (2018) is a surprisingly entertaining film, who should not be judged by the trailer alone. Of course, this is nowhere near as good as The Godfather Trilogy or Goodfellas but it is still a pretty good film that deserves more credit then it is given. The story was all over the place but at the heart the concept was good, and the cast performance was the highlight of the film, Travolta especially nailed it. All in all, I recommend that you check out this film and decided for yourselves if it was worth the watch. I believe that it was. 

Final Vote --- 6.8 of 10 stars

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