After Harry Baur, Gérard Depardieu and Claude Brasseur, it is Vincent Cassel who seizes the legendary role of Vidocq in the film adaptation of JF Richet. The cast is flamboyant (Patrick Chesnais, Fabrice Luchini, James Thierré …) but the film is up to it? Check out the reviews of the “Mask”.
The film summarized by Jérôme Garcin
The film opens with a very violent mutiny of galley slaves, at the bottom of a boat. Vidocq escapes and arrives in Paris, where he is arrested for a murder he did not commit and signs a contract of indic with the head of the security: he gets his freedom by fighting the underworld, that he knows by heart. And so the former convict becomes, under the reign of Napoleon, the first cop in France .
Jean-François Richet has reconstructed in images of synthesis the Paris of the Empire, without forgetting to show the people who suffer …
Eric Neuhoff found the film “appalling”
EN: It’s cumbersome! It’s a costumed, wiggy, starched, lacquered, dusty movie – that’s all you should not do !
It is a gratuitous violence all the time .
All dialogues are written in chisel .
Paris is reconstituted in digital images … but it shows so much! It is so modern that when you see the construction of the Arc de Triomphe, it seems that yellow vests will come to tag the monument! It’s not “Vidocq”, it’s “empty and knock”!
It lasts almost two hours but we have the impression that it is a series that will never end … and the end augurs the worst since we are threatened with a sequel! (” Vidocq ski “? ” Vidocq against Frankenstein “?)
Danièle Heymann saw a movie “angry”, “brutal”
DH: We regret Marcel Bluwal [the director of the 1966 Vidocq ]!
It’s an extremely angry, brutal film. Permanent bats . After half an hour of bastons, we have enough … Cassel enjoys, he makes tons. But there is not a moment of emotion.
Jean-Marc Lalanne embarrassed by the apology of private militia
JML: It’s very disappointing , especially since Richet has already proved that he was a very good action filmmaker and in this field, there was a political vision that was stronger in Mesrine : a scoundrel in a deeply unjust world, what can it produce as ambivalence? … It is also the subject of this film and it only results in a nihilism that I find unsympathetic . There is a sort of apology for private militia that I find almost shady.
Plastically, I find the film quite corny , very disappointing! Christophe Gans with the Pacte des loups (2001) resuscitated the film of French cloak and sword in the era of video games in a much more modern and clever way. There, I really find the film ugly and ungrateful.
Michel Crépu notes a “fascination for beating” sickening
MC: There was a movie, which was released after the holidays, A people and its king , where there was a real project. It is the historical evocation of a historical figure, as in the Emperor of Paris,but there was an original project with very impressive sequences.
Here I find the scenario very weak because it has no guideline, we do not go out with a picture of Vidocq who defends himself.
On the other hand, I do not find that Richet is a great filmmaker of action: in the big action movies, Raoul Walsh or Fritz Lang, there is a moral point of view on violence …. which is completely gone in this movie . Here it is a fascination for the beating and at one time it becomes disgusting – and I agree with Jean-Marc, it is very suspicious.
Listen to audio of this at : Critics of the “Mask” embarrassed and even disgusted by the violence of “The Emperor of Paris” (with Vincent Cassel)