The Yards

Bomb Rating: 

Take the characters from "The Godfather," strip them of their suits, and toss them into, say, a used car lot, and you'd probably get a movie very close to this one.

Tell me if you've heard this one before: A young man returns from a stint in prison looking to set his life straight. However, when he gets involved with his friends and their shady dealings, he gets drawn back into a life of crime. Just how many times do we have to see the same story over and over again? In this case, the young man is Leo (Mark Wahlberg). One of his friends is Willie (Joaquin Phoenix). Willie works for Frank (James Caan), who runs a company that fixes railway-related things. Leo's cousin is Erica (Charlize Theron), who's involved with Willie. Naturally, Leo's mother (Ellen Burstyn) is horribly disappointed with Leo's life and has a weak heart.

I mean, if you want to spice up the lower class crime drama, do something like this: Leo is released from prison after spending two years upstate for sodomizing guinea pigs. He's welcomed home by his family, which is under the impression he murdered a drug dealer and got out early for good behavior. His friend, Willie (whose name makes Leo sweat), gets Leo a job in the family pet store. Though Leo has sworn off animals, the constant temptation eventually gets the best of him and one night, Erica and his mother walk in on Leo as he's "cleaning" the pot-bellied Vietnamese pig cage. His mother grasps her chest and drops to the floor. Erica immediately starts mouth-to-mouth and continues for over an hour until the medics finally arrive and pronounce Leo's mother dead, at which time Erica admits that she's a necrophiliac and doesn't know CPR. Leo cries.

I don't know about you, but I smell a Palme d'Or.

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