Picks and Pans Review: The Last Don Ii
"Let's take this slowly. Begin at the beginning," says sympathetic Father Luca (Jason Isaacs) to perpetually distraught Rose Marie (Kirstie Alley, out of Veronica's Closet), when she rushes to recount the horrors that befell her in last spring's The Last Don. Sounds as if the priest would like a rerun of the original six-hour drama, a well-crafted piece of Mario Puzo pulp fiction that was more entertaining than this four-hour follow-up. Inconveniently, the most magnetic character in Last Don I—Mafia enforcer Pippi (Joe Mantegna)—died by gunfire. All Pippi can do in Last Don II is haunt a couple of dreams. The elderly godfather figure, Don Domenico (Danny Aiello), is likewise limited. Already getting on at the end of Last Don I, he has one big scene here—dancing at his 86th-birthday party—then expires from overexertion. That leaves center stage to Pippi's son Cross (Jason Gedrick; see page 27), who assumes crime-family leadership with gloomy ambivalence and gets sexually involved with newcomer Josie (Patsy Kensit), an FBI spy. Least welcome returnees are Sicilian hit man Lia (Conrad Dunn), who still has-a the same-a accent as Father Guido Sarducci, and the Don's doleful daughter Rose Marie, who stops wailing long enough to breach Father Luca's wall of celibacy (you'll hoot when she pulls off his Roman collar). But Robert Wuhl is so funny reprising the role of a sleazy Hollywood executive that he almost saves the sequel singlehandedly.
Bottom Line: Whack this series already