After scoring an impressive zero percent on Rotten Tomatoes — a film the New York Post dubbed as “the worst mob movie of all time” — curiosity got the best of me so I decided to see Gotti for myself because I just had to know. How could a movie in which John Travolta plays John Gotti be that bad? It had to at least be entertaining, right? (The marketing for the film is, at the very least.)
So early Monday morning I went to see Gotti. While I was watching I decided to use a pen and paper and keep a running diary. Here’s how that all went…
11:41 a.m.: There are at least 20 other people who decided to go to a Monday morning showing of Gotti.
11:45 a.m.: I can only assume everyone who is here is as curious as I am. That’s the only explanation. As opposed to, “Hey, you know, this is zero percent on Rotten Tomatoes, but it looks good. And my gut is always right.”
12:09 p.m.: I had no idea this was directed by E from Entourage. Well … his 30 for 30 about the New York Islanders was pretty good, so, there’s that.
12:10 p.m.: Gotti begins with John Travolta casually hanging out by the river and turns around to the audience in an, “Oh, it’s you!,” way.
12:15 p.m.: This movie is five minutes old and we’ve already had three or four jumps in time.
12:17 p.m.: Honestly, these time jumps are an … interesting choice.
12:20 p.m.: John Travolta as John Gotti just made a Casper the Ghost reference.
12:23 p.m.: John Travolta just had a voiceover where he explains that, after getting out of prison, he was going to have trouble finding his house. The next scene is Travolta pulling up in a car, rolling down the window, and asking, “Hey, where’s the house?”
12:26 p.m.: This movie keeps jumping from three or four different timelines. This is very jarring.
12:28 p.m.: “Heart of Glass” by Blondie is playing. Has any song in history been used as often in movies as this one to signify “It’s probably 1979?”
12:29 p.m.: I’d love to know the licensing fee for “Heart of Glass.” It has to be on the page that says, “Best Deals.”
12:30 p.m.: A woman seated behind me has “wet cough.” I’m now going to get sick from this experience, aren’t I?
12:31 p.m.: There’s a man near me who also has wet cough. I can only assume these people all got together on the “I currently have a cold” message board and decided to all go see Gotti this morning. Or maybe they skipped out of work for a sick day and decided to spend it seeing Gotti. Makes sense.
12:34 p.m.: Almost every scene in this movie has been some sort of meeting.
12:36 p.m.: Honestly, I’d watch a movie that depicts all the events that these characters keep referring to in these meetings. It sounds like some interesting things happened!
12:38 p.m.: The lady in front of me has had enough and just got up and left.
12:40 p.m.: The time jumps in this movie are driving me nuts.
12:41 p.m.: I finally gave up and moved to the other side of the theater because I don’t want to get sick. I’m watching a movie about a crime boss, but now I’m worried I might get yelled at for not sitting in my assigned seat.
12:45 p.m.: I swear this movie is all one big meeting. Now there’s a meeting in a car.
12:50 p.m.: There was just a scene where John Travolta stormed into the living room and started slapping his son for getting into a fight. The best way I can describe this scene is “over the top.” Everyone in the theater started laughing. Travolta storms out and another character says, “He’s crushed.” The theater laughed again.
12:57 p.m.: There’s a subplot in this movie about John Gotti’s son falling in love.
12:59 p.m.: There’s another meeting scene.
12:59 p.m.: With the amount of meetings that John Gotti had to attend, his job sounds like my worst nightmare.
1:02 p.m.: Stacey Keach just gave a speech to John Travolta about how he needs to get the support from the bosses of all five boroughs. He then slowly lists every borough one by one.
1:03 p.m.: This feels like a fake movie from Entourage. It’s like if Smokejumpers became a real movie.
1:04 p.m.: I just remembered Aquaman comes out later this year.
1:08 p.m.: I’ll admit, this is the first time I’ve seen a dramatic car bomb scene scored to Pet Shop Boys’ “West End Girls.”
1:10 p.m.: I assume Scorsese used voiceover so he could explain what was happening so we didn’t need to watch so many scenes that are just meetings.
1:11 p.m.: I just remembered this movie also has voiceover, sometimes.
1:17 p.m.: I just watched a scene that depicted a meeting where the topic discussed was another meeting.
1:19 p.m.: This is a very long movie.
1:25 p.m.: The line, “The doctors said it was cancer, but I think he died of a broken heart,” was just said out loud. I’m glad this Revenge of the Sith plot point is being explored again.
1:28 p.m.: There’s a very long scene depicting John Gotti’s son’s wedding.
1:35 p.m.: There was just a long montage of murders set to I’ll Be There by The Escape Club.
1:35 p.m.: I don’t think “Layla” needs to worry too much about its place in cinematic history.
1:38 p.m.: This movie just played Duran Duran’s “Come Undone.”
1:38 p.m.: “And the Oscar for Most Unusual Song Selections goes to … Gotti.”
1:41 p.m.: “And the Oscar for Movie That Feels The Longest goes to … Gotti.”
1:44 p.m.: “House of the Rising Sun” by The Animals was just played. Wow, that takes some … guts?
1:48 p.m.: Gotti ends with text basically telling us how terrible it was that the people who testified against Gotti were released back on the street. The only line missing was, “And they are going to get you next!”
1:50 p.m.: I am mistaken, there’s one more scene of John Travolta hanging out by the river. “Oh, it’s you again!” He tells the audience we will never meets someone like him again. Alright.
1:50 p.m.: This is the first movie about a mob boss I’ve ever seen that takes the viewpoint of, “He got a raw deal.”
1:51 p.m.: Gotti is over. As I walked out I heard a woman look at her friend, shrug, and say, “Ehhhhh.” Yeah.
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