Anyone familiar with the Sopranos or any of the Godfather movies, knows what the Mafia is, as well as the gangster lifestyle mobsters lead.
Having lived in New York when John Gotti Sr., head of the Gambino Crime Family, was in the headlines daily, Stewart and I hoped this movie would clarify how a real-life diabolical killer and mastermind of a variety of criminal enterprises, can also be a loving husband and father.
Documentary-style (based on the book “Shadow Of My Father” by John Gotti Jr.), GOTTI the movie was narrated by “John Gotti Sr.” (played by John Travolta). Mixed in with brutal murders and lots of f-bombs, the movie replays Gotti Jr. visiting his father in prison, where he is serving his sentence of life without parole.
As “heir apparent” to head the Gambino Crime Family, Gotti Jr. wants out of the “family business”. He’s willing to serve time, if at the end of his sentence he no longer needs to constantly look over his shoulder. Gotti Sr. is not happy with his son’s disloyal desired dereliction of duty.
Although an attempt was made to show the relationship Gotti Sr. had with his son, the only moving moment in the film was years earlier when Gotti Sr.‘s youngest son, 12-year old Frank, was fatally hit by a car when riding his bike.
As much as Stewart and I hoped it would, GOTTI the movie didn’t give us any additional insight into the moral values of Organized Crime families.
Credit to John Travolta for his very believable portrayal of the “Teflon Don” and kudos to Kelly Preston for transforming into John Gotti Sr.’s wife, Victoria.
(As an aside, John Gotti Sr. died in prison of throat cancer on June 10, 2002. Gotti Jr. pleaded guilty in 1999 to several charges including bribery and conspiracy to commit extortion. He was sentenced to 77 months in prison and was released in 2005.)
GOTTI, Directed by Kevin Connolly
Screenplay: Lem Dobbs, Leo Rossi
John Travolta as John Gotti Sr.
Kelly Preston as Victoria Gotti
Stacy Keach as Neil Dellacroce
Pruitt Taylor Vince as Angelo Ruggiero
Chris Mulkey as Frank DeCicco
Lydia Hull as Prosecutor Giacalone
Spencer Rocco Lofranco as John Gotti Jr.
William DeMeo as Sammy Gravano
Megan Leonard as Kim Gotti
Leo Rossi as Bobby Boriello
Michael Woods as McBratney
Patrick Borriello as Johnny boy Ruggiero
Luis Da Silva Jr. as Dr. Carmine
Chris Kerson as Willie Boy Johnson
Jordan Trovillion as Angel Gotti
Angela Duggins as Wiseman’s Wife
Tyler Jon Olson as Hydell
As a special treat, John Travolta and Kelly Preston joined us at the South Beach Regal movie theater to preview GOTTI.