Mafia! (1998)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Absurd Comedy, Parody/Spoof, Crime Comedy, Farce, Slapstick, Gross-Out Comedy  |   Release Date - Jul 24, 1998 (USA)  |   Run Time - 85 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG13
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Review by Karl Williams

Utterly stupid and classless, this slapstick farce is a barrel of fun for those who can check their brains at the door, and will probably be enjoyed by anyone with a taste for Mob movies and mockery. Lampooning every previous organized crime drama but with especially large doses of The Godfather, this comedy from director Jim Abrahams (of the infamous Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker team affectionately referred to as "ZAZ"), piles on cliches, winking double entendres, and dim-bulb gags. While the title promises to cleverly zing the profligate number of drawing room tearjerkers based on the novels of Jane Austen, the film's more concerned with sending up the classic Francis Ford Coppola trilogy and a few titles from Martin Scorsese, particularly GoodFellas. The result is a loopy, spirited mess of a movie that makes the work of Mel Brooks seem as tightly structured and artistically valid as a Japanese haiku. To lacerate such a groan-inducing work with criticism is pointless, however; the Weird Al Yankovic vibe of such a project makes it immune to thoughtful consideration. Viewers will laugh out loud, and loathe themselves for it, especially when they discover that Jane Austen's Mafia! (1998) was the final film of likeable screen legend Lloyd Bridges. The horror.