Depending on who you ask, John Gotti was the last in a line of dons as organized crime came apart in the 1980s, or a man whose love of the press brought down the Gambino crime family. The John Travolta biopic has been no less controversial, escaping movie jail after getting pulled ten days before its original December release date. But now, it’s getting a flashy Cannes rollout and a new trailer that’s more or less every gangster movie’s greatest hits.
No, seriously, it’s all here. Oaths of loyalty, smoky “boardroom” meetings, conflicted snitches, assassinations, car bombs, long-suffering spouses trying to ignore her husband’s criminal career (played by Kelly Preston, Travolta’s real-life wife), cheesy vintage fashion and, naturally, some absolutely horrendous parenting are all in the mix. If the Rolling Stones turns up on the soundtrack, Scorsese might sue director Kevin Connelly (yes, E from Entourage) for identity theft.
Joking aside, Gotti is a curious figure in the history of organized crime, and his story, especially with the equally flamboyant Travolta playing him, is overdue for a movie. The main question is whether the movie can hit at what made Gotti such compelling headline fodder, or if he’ll be just another gangster. We’ll find out when the movie arrives June 15th.