In a cast as deep as the 1998 Yankees, two performances stand out. Character actor Jon Polito is riveting as Johnny Caspar, the perspiring old-school gangster who also serves as Miller’s Crossing’s street-level philosopher. And John Turturro steals scenes as Bernie, the double-crossing bookie at the center of all the trouble.
In real life, the Westies developed working relationships with both the Genovese and Gambino crime families in New York and sometimes served as their enforcers and hit men. Violence was what the gang was about. As a History Channel documentary accurately noted, the Westies of the 1970s and 1980s “raised mayhem to a blood sport.”
Although overall less offensive to one’s intelligence, this new movie is populated by the same mistakes as the 2009 effort. Bay once again fills his latest offering with useless subplots that go nowhere, secondary characters that affect nothing and do nothing (Rainn Wilson replaced by John Malkovich; Ken Jeong more-or-less filling the role played by Ramon Rodriguez), and relentlessly unfunny comic relief from both robots and humans.