John Travolta has come a long way since his Grease, Saturday Night Fever and Pulp Fiction days. The 64-year-old father of three has almost 80 film and TV credits to his name, but his latest movie — the biopic, Gotti — reportedly missed the mark (hard). Gotti received a 0 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, with critics blasting the take on a legendary mob boss.
What is John Travolta's new movie about?
In the Gotti movie, Travolta plays New York City mobster John Gotti, the godfather of the infamous Gambino crime family. Though repeatedly arrested for serious crimes, Gotti avoided jail time until he was sentenced to life in prison without parole on murder and racketeering charges in 1992. Gotti died of cancer a decade later in 2002.
The Mafia film, which earned $1.67 million in 503 theaters over the weekend, took more than seven years to make and reportedly went through four directors and three different titles. Travolta’s wife, Kelly Preston, plays Gotti’s spouse Victoria, and Stacy Keach plays Aniello Dellacroce, Gotti’s mentor. Spencer Lofranco is featured as John Gotti Jr.
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"A kid raised on the streets of New York, the young Gotti found his way into the Gambino crime family, where he was taken under the wing of underboss Aniello Dellacroce," reads the Gotti movie description on the film's website. "Utilizing a combination of cunning, guile, street smarts and ruthless determination he quickly and effectively scaled the heights to position himself as a Capo in the organization, proving himself to be a lucrative earner."
The Gotti movie follows this journey and that of John Jr., who enters the family business despite his mother’s wishes. Watch the trailer below:
"It’s more important for me to disappear into a character than it would be for another actor," Travolta told Good Morning America on Monday, stressing the fact that he didn’t want his popularity to distract from his depiction of the real-life John Gotti. The man’s family, including the widowed Victoria, guided Travolta through this depiction, says the actor, "and they thought that I had arrived, so I was very proud of that."
What exactly did Rotten Tomatoes say about John Travolta’s new movie?
Following its first weekend in the box office, the Gotti movie got a rare 0 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes (according to BBC, other films to get a 0 percent were Jaws: The Revenge and Adam Sandler’s The Ridiculous 6). This percentage is based on 25 critics' reviews so far — and all have dubbed the film "rotten."
The audience score, however, rests at a 78 percent, which indicates that a majority of viewers liked it. There are close to 7,000 user ratings so far.
"Clearly, critics are out of touch with the people who actually vote with their pocket books," head of marketing for the Gotti movie Dennis Rice said, according to Deadline. "It makes me wonder if the press and critics don’t want a movie to succeed because they incorrectly think we are glorifying John Gotti."
What have these critics said about the Gotti movie?
The Detroit News’ Adam Graham said the film "sleeps with the fishes."
Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers wrote that "starring in this manic mess is one offer John Travolta should have refused."
And, most notably, Johnny Oleksinski from the New York Post started off his review with: "I’d rather wake up next to a severed horse head than ever watch 'Gotti' again."
Now, the only thing left to do is see for yourself whether you appreciate Travolta’s lead role in his passion project, or if you really would rather wake up next to a severed horse head.
For tickets, go to gotti-movie.com.