When Brian Koppelman and David Levien collaborated for the first time here, the subject matter and quality were very different from their excellent Showtime series Billions. A clichéd gangster black comedy, Knockaround Guys centers on Barry Pepper as the son of a Brooklyn mobster who wants to prove himself to his Godfather-like father by managing a money delivery business on his own with a few friends (Vin Diesel plays their bellicose heavy). They find themselves bumming around Billings, Montana, dueling wits with flannel-clad local tough guys and the airport baggage handlers who took their score when the job goes hilariously wrong.
It’s the kind of movie where the fact that no one actually says “capiche” is an impressive feat.character Diesel’s Taylor Reese, whose Jewishness(???) is indicated by his Star of David chain and matching biceps tattoo, gives a couple of lengthy speeches, once in a diner about finding and beating up “the toughest guy here,” and again right before beating up said guy, wherein he pronounces: “Five hundred street fights and you In the credits, Koppelman is identified as “Animatronic Cowboy.”