Inspired by the true story of Marseilles mob kingpin Jacky le Mat, who miraculously survived an assassination attempt to wreak revenge on his foes, this Gallic crime flick sticks so closely to the tried-and-trusted, it’s almost scared to surprise us. Thus, we’re meant to root for retired felon Jean Reno after surgeons remove guess-how-many lumps of lead from him because he’s kind to kids, listens to opera, loves his Mama, says no to drugs – but basically because he’s Jean Reno. The guy’s a star, for sure, but he’s hardly taxing himself here. As his angry response leaves a trail of carnage across the city, the action stuff is delivered with swish professionalism, Zad Merad gets to grandstand as Reno’s scheming nemesis and the predictable storyline slots together with an audible clunk. It’s never less than competent and stalwart Jean-Pierre Darroussin steals it as Reno’s smoothie lawyer but where’s the juice? Certainly nothing here to suggest it was worthy of its original French title, ‘L’Immortel’.
Friday September 3 2010
Cast and crew