Hey folks, Harry here... one must ask themselves how excited Longshot below must've been to write this review in his second language. But I will tell you this, the word on this film out of EURO-AICN has been nothing short of ELECTRIC! Our guys in Europe have been telling us this is the one... Well, when is it playing the USA or the rest of the world? Not sure as of yet, but if I were scheduling the SXSW film festival, I'd be campaigning these filmmakers like a county in Florida. Read and weep... we've got a wait ahead of us!
This morning, I attended the 1st big screening of this French event film. A strange thing happened when I arrived at the theater : there was a 150 persons queue. this never happens at professionnal screenings. Although we arrived half an hour before the screening, there wasn't any good seats left in the 800 seats theater. And I learned later that a lot of people were refused : there wasn't any seats left. This never happens... The trailers were great, the buzz was high, the budget huge (for a French film), of course my expectations and hopes were at the highest point. I only could be disappointed...
But I'm not : the film is fantastic, it's a big-time nerd party : a horror film in period setting with a huge budget and done with a lot of style. I don't want to spoil the story. It's great. Think "Sleepy Hollow" but 10,000 times better. All the film is a huge bet : the visual style is a cross-over between classic Sergio Leone, John Woo, Matrix or even Mortal Kombat and all in a true-to-life 18th Century French setting! Of course some of the bets are lost, and some scenes look "strange" / out of context. But 99% of the time, all those risks are assumed and the bet is won with exhilarating pleasure for us. It's not a masterpiece but it surely is one of the most entertaining piece of moviemaking I've seen in the last years. My friends and me could not help but smile and giggle like little girls for 2h24. The film is so dense, there are so many scenes, we could not keep track of the time. At a moment, we thought the movie was coming at its conclusion and that there was only 15 minutes left. But when we realized (after taking a look at our watch) that there was still 1 hour to go, we HAD to cheer openly.
There are so many great scenes in the film; and it all holds perfectly. Did you ever had the peculiar feeling that the film you are watching was "made for you", because it includes all the elements that you love in movies? This film will do it for you. If you like Kung-fu movies, beautiful sceneries, fantastic editing, Conan Doyle, big crashing fight sounds, a naked Monica Bellucci, great score, monster movies, all serving the film and done with taste; this film might be the most entertaining you will see this year.
On a technical view, the director Christophe Gans reunited a dream-like team : DP of MIMIC, editor and fight choregrapher of HARD BOILED, composer of the EVIL DEAD trilogy, etc.
I could go on for hours. let's just say it's a great film and soooooooooooooooooooo entertaining.
Final question. Does it feel like a French film or an American one ? It just feels like a film done by a French director who loves American films (the ones we also love i.e. I even found a scene in the film reminiscent of PREDATOR !)
BR to all and go see it as soon as it lands in your shores : it's so ambitious and different. You can't expect all that you will see in this movie but it's fantastic !