“Gotti” – 7
In a word: Violent
This is a good movie if you like stories, true or false, about racketeering and gangsterism. In this violence-ridden biopic film, John Travolta portrays John Gotti as a true-to-life character who rose to head the New York-based Mafia, until he died in federal prison at the age of 61.
The movie chronicles Gotti’s rise to fame, equal to that of a Hollywood idol, his devout loyalty to family, and his penchant for notoriety which came at a cost to many lives, not to mention millions of taxpayer dollars spent on prosecutions and law enforcement efforts trying to nail the charismatic hoodlum.
John Travolta gives us a noble performance, deftly immersing himself in the manner and swarthiness of Gotti, both as a handsome killer and later, a dying jailbird. The concern I have as a movie buff, and as an American is the love and admiration festooned upon such a violent criminal, both in real life and in the minds and hearts of fans. Gotti was handsome, Gotti was a boss of bosses, Gotti was vicious and he was a hero of sorts. But he was a really bad guy and we shouldn’t lionize really bad people. Somehow, it seems unfitting and damaging to the minds of impressionable youth that someone such as he should be the object of affection and glory. I also think about the family members of past victims who probably would renounce the film.
Yes, we all know about many other criminals or yore who became the subject of over-glorification from the wild west to serial killers. But this film clarifies in less than two hours, the pointless killings for the sake of killings, as the Mafia once again rises to the level of stardom.
Was the acting good? Yes. Was the story-line accurate.? Close, likely. Did the movie do well at the box office? No…it bombed. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 0% rating, one star. Other ratings sites were similar.
I thought the movie was fair. For Organized Crime buffs, it was even better. But compared to The Godfather, the pinnacle of OC films, Rotten Tomatoes might have it right.
Don’t see this movie if you’ve got hang-ups about a flood of bad language and gross violence.
The movie was entertaining enough to warrant a 7 out of 10.