I have a theory about why we probably won’t be seeing any young Brandos or De Niros — or even any young Sean Penns — emerging from the new generation of Hollywood stars. Guys like Patrick Dempsey, Richard Grieco, and even Christian Slater are too fundamentally carefree to be interesting actors. They’ve received the perks of modern movie stardom without really having to earn them, and so they lack the fire and turmoil — the inner reserves of anger, melancholy, and emotional conflict — that help give an actor weight and humanity on-screen. Not that anyone could have saved Mobsters, a movie so synthetic it appears to have been based less on old gangster movies than on MTV videos based on old gangster movies. Slater, who plays rising hood Lucky Luciano, does his patented version of Jack Nicholson’s insinuating growl. But Nicholson, in his great ’70s period, had a smoldering hostility; Slater just has attitude. There’s dramatic promise in a story of the youthful partnership between the Italian Luciano and the Jewish Meyer Lansky (Dempsey). Mobsters, though, is all narcotic flash. There isn’t a moment when you simply sit back and share in an actor’s joy at revealing himself through his role. D
Genre: Mystery and Thriller, Drama; Starring: Patrick Dempsey, Michael Karbelnikoff, Christian Slater, Lara Flynn Boyle; Director: Michael Karbelnikoff; Runtime (in minutes): 104; MPAA Rating: R; Distributor: Universal
Posted August 9 1991 — 12:00 AM EDT
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