Thursday, January 15, 2009

MR73 (Olivier Marchal, 2008, France) MR73 is a French police thriller that regurgitates Hollywood trash and quickly becomes mired in the quicksand of its own vomitous expulsion. Part SILENCE OF THE LAMBS and LETHAL WEAPON, this fusion of weary clich├ęs creates not an explosion of suspense or drama, but an admixture of dull and pointless violence performed by rigid caricatures, infused with the indifference of shadows. This dark brooding drama pumps Nietzschean lifeblood through its veins but it is soon bled dry, all interesting and thought provoking emotional conflict lost amid an inept narrative and shoddy directing. The story itself is absurd and unbelievable: a suicidal police officer becomes unwittingly involved in an elaborate conspiracy, whose malignant tendrils reach into the highest levels of the French Police Force. Daniel Auteuil slinks through the darkness with rose colored glasses that see only the shades of the past, ghosts that stalk his memory making his existence a living Hell of guilt and impotence. His performance is rather one-dimensional but believable, his subtle inflections giving life to a walking dead man, a wafting breath of noxious fumes whose stench carries the nihilism of the void, the tomb world of oblivion…blessed oblivion. The stock action sequences and plot points stretch contrivance beyond acceptability and we are left with a rain soaked melodrama imbued with characters in which we have no investment, and situations that are expected and awfully (not artfully) exposed. Finally, the film’s dead end laughably recycles karmic rebirth, and siphons the traumatic power of a desperate and lonely man whose fateful decision is powerful…but instead becomes powerless. (F)

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