Given Frankenheimer's claims in the press notes that his 'intelligent suspense thriller... questions our ethics', you might be forgiven for expecting a superior character study instead of the laughably hackneyed genre fluff it very soon shows itself to be. The French-set plot, about an international group of criminal experts hired by an unknown client to get their hands on a mysterious briefcase, is rambling and uninvolving; the characters are paper-thin stereotypes; the dialogue is clumsy and trite; the use of familiar landmarks an insult to audience intelligence - though not, perhaps, as insulting as the absurd pretensions to some sort of political relevance. As for the title, don't ask. Some critics have applauded the non-digitalised car chases, and yes, it's fun for a while to see them speed through narrow Nice streets and on the Parisian périphérique, though by the third time round, the novelty of old-fashioned set-pieces - which still consist of collisions, explosions and expendable extras - palls. So, too, does De Niro's lazy performance as an ex-CIA strategist, McElhone's rogue brogue, the ugly camerawork, fashionably explicit bloodletting, and everything. Dire.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Richard Weitz David Mamet, JD Zeik|
Robert De Niro