Dir: John Frankenheimer
Starring: Robert De Niro, Jean Reno, Natascha McElhone, Stellan Skarsgård

The script for this was actually written by David Mamet, though a supposed spat about credits led him to use the pseudonym Richard Weisz. Part of me suspects it may be because he wasn't entirely happy with the finished product, and it does nothing to convince me that Mamet's forte lies in action rather than dialogue. Like The Spanish Prisoner, this revolves around a battle for a non-specific Macguffin: there, an industrial process, here a suitcase. The players are brought together by McElhone to steal it, only for one of them to double-cross the others, and take it for himself. Cue carnage, car chases and a supporting role for skate-star Katarina Witt. The characters are fine, and you can add ex-Bond villains Sean Bean and Jonathan Pryce to the mix, even if the latter's Irish accent leaves a bit to be desired. It's the storyline that doesn't work, Mamet lobbing on twists as if they were sufficient in themselves to make things interesting. Leaving the contents of the suitcase unidentified also backfires, in that you are given no reason to care about it, beyond the fact that the characters do. Even given the slightly novel settings of Paris and Nice, that's not enough to engage your enthusiasm on any level beyond the shallowest.


Je suis Victor - nettoyeuse
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