List Film

Paris Lockdown (3 stars)

(18) 143min (Momentum DVD retail/rental)

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Paris Lockdown

GANGSTER

This brutally efficient, thoroughly gratuitous French gangster film from Frédéric Schoendorffer, director of Scene de Crime and Spy Bound, explores the lives of various gangsters on the make. Unfortunately when key crime figure Claude (Philippe Caubért) gets locked up for a couple of years the director becomes less interested in the mechanics of crime than the pyrotechnics of the violence. In one truly horrible moment worthy of the recent wave of torture porn, a gangster is strapped to the chair and has his knee drilled and his nose cut off, which obviously has more to do with trying to make the audience wretch than with filling out the context of the gangsters’ lives.

Though clearly influenced by Michael Mann and Martin Scorsese, this film never quite feels alive to Paris as a city; it’s more an indifferent background to the violence that takes place in it. With Beatrice Dalle. Extras including a documentary on the film’s making.

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