*** out of 5
There's a great tradition of gangster comedies, from Brother Orchid and A Slight Case of Murder to My Cousin Vinny and Analyze This, but one that has been lost in the shuffle is this forgotten title from the mid-80's, with Danny DeVito and Joe Piscopo. It is directed by a guy who's probably much better known for his serious crime films like Scarface, Carlito's Way, and The Untouchables-- Brian DePalma. There's a lot that is inherently funny about the mafia to begin with. Gangster movies always seem like they're just about to burst into comedy at any moment, even when they're at their grimmest "Is this the end of Rico" and "I ain't so tough" moments. Here, DePalma bursts those seems wide open and pokes fun at the absurdity of The Family, even while he maintains some of the somber, deathly-seriousness of the threat they pose to those who get in their way. And with Devito and Piscopo as his principle funnymen, this movie manages to never run out of funny or fun, and it ends with a real bang.