Review: Tony Martone

Written and directed by Joseph McGee, Tony “Untouchable” Martone leads the mafia in East Providence, RI until a rival family attempts to take control of their territory. Starring: Mario Carneiro, David Torres Jr., Domenic Arduino, Gio Drasconi, Daniel Fainman, Edward Dirgo, Noah Aronstein, Mauricio Viteri, Jeffrey M. Rossman, Nick Scott and Kayla Kohla.

Gangster films are a beloved genre of cinema but unfortunately that means it’s very hard to come up with something that feels original and sadly, Tony Martone doesn’t manage that. The story is a barrage of guns and hits, so much so that it struggles to build the plot in between. It quickly starts to feel repetitive, it’s such a familiar story with typical characters that it doesn’t have an individual enough energy to draw you in. It’s missing that element of giving you someone to root for or against, something to be the heart of this story.

Sadly, it also struggles in a technical sense, with the sound quality often mixed or muffled, becoming fairly distracting as time goes on. The direction has a slightly trapped feeling, it’s so often using close angles that it can’t take the scene in fully and only worsens the difficulty with repetitiveness. With the fairly constant gun violence and screaming matches, the tone is an aggressive one. A factor which can work but it needed a bit more space to provide variety and make those in your face moments more effective.

All of that is then compacted by the very similar personalities spread throughout the film. With it existing in such a specific environment, each character follows a typical pattern and unfortunately don’t have a lot of individuality to add. That typical nature also stops them from being able to build unique and engaging personalities, which again means that it’s missing out on giving you a strong reason to invest in the story.

Tony Martone dives headfirst into classic gangster themes but struggles to build an individual tone or energy. There are technical issues along the way and it sticks a little too close to its characters to give the film enough room to breathe, and to build a clear atmosphere. Its use of conflict and violence overwhelms the film and leaves its story feeling overly minimal, and without any charismatic characters to take the lead, it falls onto repetitive ground.

Verdict: ✯✯ | 4/10

Available now on VOD & Digital | Click here for more info

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