Arsène Lupin (15)
Time Out saysThis is the umpteenth film outing of the fictional gentleman thief – as famous in France as his contemporary rival Sherlock Holmes – but the first to include extensive special effects. Lavish, tedious, ridiculous, seemingly endless, ‘Arsène Lupin’ is a swooning ’Scope costumer starring the glowering beauty Romain Duris as the eponymous kick-boxing cambrioleur and master of disguise. The complicated episodic plot – involving Marie Antoinette’s treasures, a Brotherhood conspiracy to sabotage the Republic, metronomic changes of identity, abattoir levels of bloodletting and l’amour – takes less time to show than synopsise. Duris has some of the physical arrogance of the young Alain Delon but proves tedious over two-hours-plus, while Kristin Scott Thomas’s devilish aristocrat-adversary-lover functions as little more than an exotic clothes-horse. The design and Pascal Ridao’s cinematography luxuriate seductively in ornate period excess, but merely add to the overall impression of stale Grand Guignol served up with bizarre modernist trimmings.
Fri Sep 9, 2005