What You Need To Know:
(H, Ho, LLL, VVV, S, AA, DD, MMM) Humanist worldview about three friends attempting to steal millions of dollars in cooperation with the mob with light homosexual elements; 228 obscenities (with nearly 200 “f” words) and three profanities; violence includes kidnapping, torture scenes, beatings, stabbings, strangulations, graphic shootings, head shots, and bloody executions; implied fornication, several couples wearing bathing suits shown kissing, light homosexual references, and jokes about bestiality; some cleavage shown; drinking to excess; smoking and drug use; and, theft, themes of lying, betrayal and thirst for power, corrupt activity celebrated, and mob family revered throughout this movie, and federal officers shown planting drug evidence but this action strongly rebuked.
THIS THING OF OURS is a less-than-compelling story about the Mafia’s involvement in a high-tech heist which, according to the movie’s production notes, actually took place. It centers on three young men who have figured out a way to steal hundreds of millions of dollars by siphoning wireless bank transfers from thousands of transactions passing through a recently positioned NASA satellite. All three friends plan to be filthy rich, but one of them hopes to use this audacious crime as a respected admission into the local mob family. It is a foolproof plan, but the guys must first borrow $50 million before the narrow window of opportunity closes. Considering themselves the next generation of computer-savvy criminals, they regard the aging members of the Mafia as stuck in the old ways of the past. Nevertheless, they need the family’s financial backing and rightly keep their opinions to themselves. They realize that, if they fail to turn a fast profit for the mob’s investment – or if they experience failure of any kind, for that matter – their investors will settle the account with the men’s lives.
THIS THING OF OURS is supposed to be a thoughtful story about new versus old, but it relies heavily on mobster story clichés and superficial characters. Sure, there may be something to be said about the crime family’s dying empire in a new era or about the fragility of friendships when money is at stake, but THIS THING OF OURS is not really qualified to tackle these serious subjects. If this movie sees any success at all, credit will be due to the largely recognizable round-up of famous wiseguy-playing actors. It also rides the blood-soaked coattails of THE SOPRANOS’ popularity, but dozens of ruthless murders and scenes of spurting blood do not a good story make.
Written and directed by Danny Provenzano, THIS THING OF OURS is an odd and unsettling tribute to the feared and revered crime family. Provenzano, himself, is the great-nephew of real-life mob boss Anthony Provenzano, and he seems to enjoy reminding the press that this crime tale is as authentic as it gets. He should know. Last year, Danny faced a 44-count racketeering indictment by the federal government. So, perhaps art does imitate life. This may also explain why, at the time, he was unable to focus on improving his much beloved movie.
The mob’s obsession with greed and ironic fascination with respect are prominent themes here. The movie is saturated with coarse language and, as one would expect, contains much vicious and bloody violence. At its close, THIS THING OF OURS is bent on introspection, but any viewers who suffer through to the end will reflect that the movie has been about as much fun as watching a corpse rot.
THIS THING OF OURS may look and sound like a heavyweight mob flick, but it is really just a two-bit hustle.