Picks and Pans Review: Boss of Bosses
updated 06/04/2001 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 06/04/2001 AT 01:00 AM EDT
Ya gotta feel for Mafia chieftain Paul Castellano (Chazz Palminteri). He wants his organization to concentrate on tidy, white-collar crime, but rebellious subordinates like John Gotti (Sonny Marinelli) stubbornly prefer a bloodier way of doing business. "I'm stuck trying to make morons into legitimate people," Castellano complains.
If you're up on gangland history, you know Castellano lost the dispute on Dec. 16,1985—in a hail of bullets outside a Manhattan restaurant. This TV movie begins and ends with a graphic depiction of that famous rubout. (For my dough, once would've been plenty.) But despite Palminteri's solid performance, Boss of Bosses lacks the style or insight to put it even close to the Godfather-GoodFellas league. Flaws include too many clichés in the flashbacks to Castellano's criminal apprenticeship and too much posturing by Daniel Benzali as an implacable FBI honcho.
Bottom Line: Middling Mob stuff