Directed by Eytan Rockaway.
Starring Harvey Keitel, Sam Worthington, John Magaro, AnnaSophia Robb, Minka Kelly, Jackie Cruz, David Cade and Shane McCrae.
Meyer Lansky (Harvey Keitel) wants to burden himself. The confessor of his choice is David Stone (Sam Worthington), down to the best-selling author who needs luck. Unfortunately, there are other stakeholders who are more than transient interested in Meyer Lansky’s life.
Lansky offers confusion that will never be resolved. This eighties series reveals the sad initiator and number man life of Meyer Lansky missing teeth. It has nothing to do with Harvey Keitel, who takes on the title role with complete ease. Nor should Sam Worthington be blamed for sitting opposite him for most of its two-hour driving time.
Their dynamic is easy and both work hard to make this crime drama fascinating. However, inconsistent time jumps and a significant lack of perceived threat are hampering potential momentum. Keitel sits in the dining room, telling of his lyrical past, always paying attention, but director Eytan Rockaway does nothing over it.
Minka Kellly, known from DC Titans, is an underused and obvious femme fatale with nothing significant to do. Federal law enforcement agencies are never actually affected and a lot of screen time is wasted. David Worthington’s David Stone never has a sense of family in addition to the misguided calls, while his reaction to infidelity seems insignificant. This again has little to do with the presentation and more to do with the material. However, the saving graces are in the form of Robert Magaro, who shines AnnaSophia opposite Robb’s Anne Lansky.
As a young Meyer Lansky, he is descending, cold and cunning. Alongside him, both Shane McCrae and David Cade add weight as Ben Seigel and Charlie Luciano. If this movie has a heart, it can be found here. This trio keeps things together among truncated retreats, quiet pacing, and half-length histrion.
Production designer April Lasky can capture the periods perfectly in either New York around 1912 or with the Cuban timestamp of 1946, but something is missing. Dynamic moments feel shiny, bold characters strike and layoffs have no effect. Lanksy should be untouched periodic approach, Godfather Part II in the atmosphere and held together by a cunning confessional account. While this film is entertaining, it never comes close to achieving those goals. This feels like a remembrance rather than anything more subversive, which is a weeping shame.
That is to say somewhere inside Lansky is a good air fighting movie. However, core confidence is never worth it, Harvey Keitel slips into low gear and Sam Worthington kicks off his paycheck. There are no last-minute surprises, no big revelations, and all that remains is an overwhelming sense of mediocrity. As a starting point Lansky had promised, and still has to make a great movie. Unfortunately, this is not it.
Lansky arrives at theaters and On Demand on June 25th.
Flickering myth rating – Movie: ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★