The Lighter Don
When Don Domenico Clericuzio (Danny Aiello) passed away it left his children to run the family together but it also left them easy prey to anyone who wanted to get at them. It is not just immediate family who appear to be in danger as Cross De Lena's (Jason Gedrick) wife is killed with a parcel bomb intended for him leading to him returning home with his adopted daughter Bethany (Alison Pill) where he takes over control of family affairs and getting to the bottom of who is targeting them. With Bethany in need of special care he hires Josie Cirolia (Patsy Kensit) unaware that he has allowed an undercover cop into the house. And then there is Rose Marie Clericuzio (Kirstie Alley) whose life is in tatters as she can't deal with the death of her son until Father Luca Tonarini (Jason Isaacs) takes an interest in her life and manages to bring her some peace.
"The Last Don" was not a bad made for TV movie as long as you didn't expect it to be up there with "The Godfather" when it came to the production and acting. And you could say the same for the sequel "The Last Don II" except there is one piece of casting and one character which really lets it down. But I will get to that later and instead focus on a positive which is that "The Last Don II" is simple with a straight forward case of the Clericuzio family under attack and under the leadership of Cross is trying to protect themselves whilst getting revenge. Maybe for some this is too simple but this sequel has a lighter tone than the first movie and by being less complicated it fits nicely.
Of course an 180 minute movie can't thrive on one story and so we have others from the undercover cop working in the Clericuzio home which leads to the expected and frankly cliche romantic tribulations. And then there is the entertaining but hysterical Rose Marie storyline which takes us from crazed over what has happened to her to what I would call a homage to "The Thorn Birds" with a twisted ending. These subplots and other minor episodes makes for an alright follow up but one done in a much lighter tone to the first movie. Although it certainly isn't lighter when it features Conrad Dunn as the dangerous Lia Vazzi, and Dunn is one of the actors who helps to make this sequel work as a Mafia movie.
But then there are those things which are wrong and there is the character which sees Andrew Jackson starring as Dirk Von Schelburg, a poorly written mickey take of Arnie. Every single scene which features Schelburg is painful to watch because the humour of the character is too cheesy. And then there is Patsy Kensit as Josie Cirolia whose accent is all over the place and unfortunately is consistently forcing her performance. It is a shame as Jason Gedrick really comes in to his own in this sequel but struggles in the scenes he shares with Kensit.
What this all boils down to is that "The Last Don II" is a good follow up to the first movie with an easier to follow storyline and some nice continuation of the drama. It is just a shame that a couple of things really let the movie down.