Cinema Review: The Wannabe | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Saturday, November 28th, 2020  

The Wannabe

Studio: eOne
Directed by Nick Sandow

Dec 03, 2015 Issue #55 - November/December 2015 - EL VY
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New York City, 1992. The city is captivated by the trial against John Gotti. He’s a folk hero to the Italian American community, which includes Thomas (Vincent Piazza), a skinny Queens kid so obsessed with the mafia that he thinks he’s a member. It’s a delusion his on-the-mend girlfriend (Patricia Arquette) is more than willing to indulge. When actual mobsters try slapping sense into the kid, it only emboldens the couple to prove they belong, which involves guns, drugs, and bad decisions.

One of Thomas’ quirks is quoting famous mob movies, and after awhile it becomes clear that his knowledge base somehow doesn’t include Goodfellas, released two years earlier. It’s a rare refrain from writer/director Nick Sandow’s Martin Scorsese reverence in the aptly-titled The Wannabe, a film that manages to be a Scorsese rip-off while also having his name in the credits. Of course, you can see the temptation to emulate Scorsese—the seduction and ultimate disenfranchisement of Henry Hill is an exciting mob story that masks a personal commentary on the Italian American experience. The Wannabe is too derivative for any insight, offering little more than tired tropes and bad accents.

us.eonefilms.com

Author rating: 3.5/10

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