Tuesday, January 03, 2006

French Connection II

20th Century Fox
Director: John Frankenheimer
Length: 119 min.
Format: DVD
Date Viewed: 3 January

In this underwhelming sequel, both 'Popeye' Doyle and the style of the first film get mercilessly mutated. The former transforms from interesting antihero to loudmouthed, American boor overseas - not much of a change, to be sure, but enough of a subtle change that results in Doyle being annoying instead of strangely charming. The latter morphs from documentary-like realism to bland action film, complete with dull shoot-outs in warehouses to wildly improbable coincidences to lame buddy cop and "hilarious" fish-out-of-water cliches to plot points that make no sense - not the least of which is 'Popeye' being in Marseilles in the first place. Much like "Evil Dead II," this sequel begins in a different place then where the ending of the first left us, and though it works in "Evil Dead II," here all we can think about during the long 118 minutes is how manufactured the modification feels. Having Frog One turn Doyle into a junkie was an interesting touch, but it also takes 30 minutes in the middle of the film for him to get hooked and then detoxed, stopping the momentum cold turkey, much like Doyle. The ending is the strongest part of the film, with its excellent use of handheld, high-grain POV shots, and the very last sequence before the credits is wonderfully edited. Pity the rest of the film couldn't be as tightly cut down as those 15 seconds.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


03 January, 2006 17:45  

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