Tony (Tony Cucci), Vinnie (Vincent Pastore), and Frankie (Ron Gilbert) are not nice men. In fact, as you may have surmised given their suspiciously stereotypical names, they’re hit-men; ruthless cold-blooded mercenary mobsters who’ll kill for a buck. Or in this case, lots of bucks, which is Johnny’s (John Cocca) problem. He hired the dangerous mobsters to come to Rochester to eliminate someone…and now he doesn’t have enough money to pay them off. This, of course, doesn’t exactly please the burly assassins, who are soon almost gleefully threatening their quivering client with bodily harm unless he scrapes up some cash. Desperate and nervous as a virgin john in a cathouse, Johnny borrows the money from his uncle…who doesn’t quite realize what’s really going on. Tony, Vinnie, and Frankie, you see, aren’t really mobsters. As the pun in the title suggests, they just play mobsters in the movies. You’re always asking for trouble when you suck in an audience for twenty minutes and then zap ’em with a big pun “Gotcha!”
Yet, Tony Cucci and Mark Foggetti almost get away with it in “Rochester Method.” For one thing, the good time Cucci, Pastore and Gilbert are having hamming it up as the mobsters is highly infectious…and a little unnerving. Then, too, any film that opens with Dean Martin crooning “Return to Me” is almost guaranteed to induce a smile. Unfortunately, for as well as Cucci and Foggetti handle everything leading up to the big pay-off, they botch the ending a little. At first, you’re not certain what’s going on…and when you do finally figure it out, the abrupt ending leaves many questions unanswered. Like many method actors, then, this causes “Rochester Method” to ultimately miss its mark…but not by much.