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THE family that slays together stays together - with a degree of reluctance - in Luc Besson’s twisted black comedy based on a book by Tonino Benacquista.

Punctuated by scenes of cartoonish violence, including an explosive bout of supermarket rage, The Family razes one sleepy corner of Normandy in its ham-fisted pursuit of big bangs and laughs.

Robert De Niro in The Family

Robert De Niro in The Family

It’s a far, desperate cry from the propulsive energy and intense emotions of Besson’s hit man thriller, Leon, which starred Jean Reno and a smouldering, Lolita-esque Natalie Portman.

The family in question comprises of Fred (Robert De Niro), his long-suffering wife Maggie (Michelle Pfeiffer) and their two children, 17-year-old Belle (Dianna Agron) and 14-year-old Warren (John D’Leo). Like the dysfunctional clan at the film’s blackened heart, The Family pretends to be one thing - a giddy whirl of action, thriller and romance - but turns out to be something else entirely.

My rating 6/10

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