“Gotti” (Vertical Entertainment)
By Catholic News Service
Low-budget crime saga about mobster John Gotti (John Travolta) who, director Kevin Connolly and screenwriters Lem Dobbs and Leo Rossi would have the viewer believe, was mostly a misunderstood family man, attentive — according to his own lights — to his wife (Kelly Preston) and two sons (Spencer Lofrano and Nico Bustamante). Other than the occasional murder — his first was in 1973 — he might as well be any other striver on the corporate ladder, hoping to impress his mentor in the Gambino crime family (Stacy Keach) and earn a promotion. Impatient, he eventually felt the need to have the lugubrious head of the syndicate (Donald John Volpenheim) whacked in sordid yet theatrical rub-out that set the pattern for his long career as a tabloid celebrity.
What’s here is too ineptly written and performed to constitute a whitewash of the man. But a reluctance to incorporate any moral viewpoints by any of its characters makes for a weak, poorly seasoned stew.
Much gun and physical violence, pervasive rough language. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.