This seems to be the summer of "old guys can do it again."
Last month there was Space Cowboys, and now we have The Crew. The Crew is funnier than the other geriatric comedy, but it's less interesting as a story. Space Cowboys had an exciting second half in space. The Crew is a comedy with almost no coherent story behind it.
The plot, such as it is, concerns four "retired" mobsters, "wise guys" who grew up together in New Jersey, served the mob together and now live together in Miami. They're housed in a rundown apartment house. It has a front porch where they sit and watch the young bikini'd girls pass by and wish for the vigor they had in the good old days.
The building owners are about to increase rents to a much higher level. They want to renovate the place and make it appealing to a more upscale crowd. Our guys decide to give the building a bad name by simulating a murder in the lobby, thus generating a lot of bad publicity.
They expect it will scare off any potential tenants who can afford higher rent. It sort of works, until the police discover that the victim, a body stolen from a mortuary, was dead long before the guys did their work. Unfortunately for our boys, the body they appropriated for the ruse turns out to be a recently deceased Latino drug lord, whose son now wants revenge. The plot thickens after this, mixing some very funny lines and a lot of sight gags along the way.
It's all a trifle, so the enjoyment of the movie comes from the characters and how the actors play them. Richard Dreyfuss narrates the film and is the central member of the crew. He's Bobby, smarter and less eccentric than the others, which is probably why he never had a nickname. Burt Reynolds is Joey, "Bats." He is known for his violent temper and his propensity for using a baseball bat to convince people to see his way. Dan Heyada (The Hurricane and Shaft) plays Mike, "the Brick." Brick is best known for his stupidity. Seymour Cassel is Tony, a skilled arsonist, who is called "Mouth" because he rarely talks.
All these characters are funny in their way. Dreyfuss, Bobby, is important to us because he keeps everything sorted out. The funniest of the crew is Bats, Burt Reynolds. He gets bopped on the head several times in the movie, with funny circumstances and results. Lainie Kazan plays a smaller part, as a woman who inadvertently gets involved with the crew. She appears in the latter part of the movie, but she just about walks off with all of her scenes.
The Crew is a movie that is best enjoyed if you go to see it with fairly low expectations. It's a short film (88 minutes) and that's about the right length before it runs out of comic steam. It is playing at the Harkins Theater in Sedona.