The story of a potential government movement against organized crime is depicted in this very well-made film from co-star/director Danny A. Abeckaser.
In early 1957, Sgt. Ed Croswell, a police officer in the small town of Apalachin, New York, had stopped Carmine Gigante, an accused member of a Mafioso group led by Joe Barbara. However, when a lawyer shuts down the arrest thanks to a corrupt state judge, Croswell is not happy. Six months later, Barbara is asked by the recently released Vito Genovese, the head of the NYC-based mob, to have his place as a sit-down for the heads of Mafia families across the nation.
As Barbara prepares to get his place ready for the meeting, Croswell has not forgotten about what had happened. As he slowly begins a relationship with widow Natalie Passatino, he begins to learn of certain things occurring in town. As Croswell is convinced that he can try to stop Barbara, at first his boss is reluctant to let him carry on the case. However, Croswell still finds himself struggling with his instincts and when it all comes down, the cop makes a decision that will forever change America’s view on organized crime.
When it comes to films about organized crime, it will always be clear that Martin Scorsese will be the king of that genre, from his iconic Goodfellas to his recent epic The Irishman. While it’s clear that this film will not live up to Scorsese, one thing is clear. This film can be said to have the feel of a Scorsese film, if it’s condensed down to a 90-minute film. While Scorsese likes to give a thorough look with his two-and-a-half to three-and-a-half hour epics, Danny A. Abeckaser basically made a condensed version of a Scorsese film.
The big surprise of the film comes in the performance of David Arquette. For years, Arquette has always been synonymous with comic fodder and goofball antics. However, for these brand of actors, there will be that one project that will have the actor go against type and this is that very film. Arquette is great in the role of small town cop Ed Croswell, whose gut instincts will eventually change history as he finds himself determined to take down the meeting of the Mafia heads in the town of Apalachin, New York. He shows a nice guy side in his scenes involving his slow-paced but eventual romance with widow Natalie, played by Jennifer Esposito. This is the likable side to Arquette that fans are used to without having to go over-the-top. This side is more of his side in Never Been Kissed minus the goofiness, but more of his good-natured side. All in all, he’s both likable and determined at the same time.
Co-star Abeckaser is also great as Joe Barbara, an update wiseguy who find himself getting a chance to really make himself a well-known name as it is his house that is set to have the infamous meeting. The viewer gets to see his point of view as well as he struggles to get everything in order just to impress the big boss himself. It is interesting to see the juxtaposition of both the side of the law and the side of the gangster, in this case Barbara. Robert Davi makes the most of his time as Vito Genovese, who even becomes the film’s surprise comic relief when he confronts one of his guys for offing a rival mobster and it is because of how he approached the mobster and offed him.
Mob Town can be best described as a condensed version of a Scorsese epic, seeing the points of view from both the man who would change history and the man who would do everything to make things right to impress the big man. Great performances by David Arquette and Danny A. Abeckaser drive the film with Robert Davi’s surprisingly funny bits mixed in.
WFG RATING: A-
Saban Films presents a 2B Films production. Director: Danny A. Abeckaser. Producers: Danny A. Abeckaser, Robert Ivker, and Vince P. Maggio. Writers: Jon Carlo and Joe Gilford. Cinematography: Hernan Toro. Editing: David Leonard.
Cast: David Arquette, Jennifer Esposito, Danny A. Abeckaser, P.J. Byrne, Robert Davi, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Gino Cafarelli, Sasha Feldman, Anthony DeSando, Nick Cordero, James McCaffrey, Kyle Stefanski.
The film will hit select theaters, On Demand, and Digital on December 13.