Original review featured on The Doha Film Institute website.

Director: Jérôme Salle
Stars: Tomer Sisley, Sharon Stone and Ulrich Tukur
Genre: action, adventure, thriller

Largo Winch (Tomer Sisley) was happily living in Thailand with his girlfriend until he was forced to leave. Being the sole heir of the Winch Corporation’s hefty billion dollar fortune, Winch suddenly finds himself running this empire after his adoptive father is brutally murdered. As an unknown figure forced into the media spotlight, Winch accrues many a dangerous enemy, including prosecutor Diane Francken (Sharon Stone) who accuses him of crimes against humanity during his 3-year stay in Thailand.

The film is inspired by Belgian comic book series ‘Largo Winch’. The series soon turned into a television interpretation, video games and then eventually, the 1998 film with the same name. And now comes the multilingual sequel (you will hear French, English and Thai amongst others), shot in 7 countries. So you are sure to secure magnificent landscapes and other multicultural factors throughout!

The very fact of having an action film directed by a Frenchman (Jérôme Salle) had me wondering if I was going to have a unique “Taxi” experience (one of the best French action films). To my surprise, I had many!

To start with, I enjoyed the first half of the film; it seemed fulfilling excluding Sharon Stone’s scenes with a role so poorly performed. All she does – besides being the ruthless UN prosecutor that makes the life of our Winch hero hell – is to provokingly sit cross-legged. (Remember Basic Instincts?). Her character and motives are all very confusing. At some point I thought she was this middle-aged woman with a taste for younger men, (That’s how the film introduces her) thinking she will be the anti-hero desiring this young Wench billionaire. But her sensuality is very misleading and honestly, I didn’t see the purpose.

Which underlines that besides Stone’s misplaced impersonation, the film has so many sub-plots and personalities that make it difficult to keep track of. But actor Tomer Sisley playing the rebellious Largo Winch managed to make up some quality acting. Coming from a French comedy background, I was amazed at his performance. He is intense and fits this type of action films.

The other characters of the film seem to have a more exaggerated representation; a concrete example would be the very reserved French butler Gauthier (Nicolas Vaude) who accompanies Winch in his adventure, talks non-stop but seems to be the comic relief of the film. What makes them more or less acceptable is the fact that they are inspired by the comic book. But nevertheless, I felt that I was in front of characters who took a break from other films for a role in ‘The Burma Conspiracy’

Then comes what the film is really about: An action film. I don’t want be much of a spoiler but please remember us when you watch the parachute scene! (I shall call it ‘The Superman scene’). I will leave it for you to decide and share with us. Cars do crash and fly in all directions (obviously it’s an action film). You can sense that there’s a lot of effort to make some of the scenes really unique and succeeded in some. And our hero (Sisley) made sure to perform himself all the dangerous moves, so no stunts attached! Enjoy the action because there’s plenty of it.

It’s now playing in Doha, have a good weekend in action and looking forward for your comments and tweets!

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