The Second Wind
(18) 149min (Optimum DVD retail)
A remake of Jean-Pierre Melville’s 1966 film Le deuxième soufflé, veteran journeyman Alain Corneau (Série noire, Tous les matins du monde) remakes this black and white classic with a colour scheme out of Amélie, and a star cast that includes Daniel Auteuil, Monica Bellucci, Eric Cantona, Jacques Dutronc, Daniel Duval and Gilbert Melki.
It is sometime in the 1960s and Gu Minda (Auteuil) escapes from prison and gets involved in a major and very risky heist with a bunch of seasoned old lags.
The film is at its best working with Melvillian themes of duty and obligation without sentimentality, and the fine line distinctions between self-protection and underworld loyalty. Corneau also adds a modern penchant for gory moments, with fingers being shot off and bullets vividly passing through the cheek and head to show that movie violence has certainly come along nicely since Melville’s day. Minimal extras.